GRP94: An HSP90-like protein specialized for protein folding and quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Mar;1823(3):774-87. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2011.10.013. Epub 2011 Nov 3.


Glucose-regulated protein 94 is the HSP90-like protein in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum and therefore it chaperones secreted and membrane proteins. It has essential functions in development and physiology of multicellular organisms, at least in part because of this unique clientele. GRP94 shares many biochemical features with other HSP90 proteins, in particular its domain structure and ATPase activity, but also displays distinct activities, such as calcium binding, necessitated by the conditions in the endoplasmic reticulum. GRP94's mode of action varies from the general HSP90 theme in the conformational changes induced by nucleotide binding, and in its interactions with co-chaperones, which are very different from known cytosolic co-chaperones. GRP94 is more selective than many of the ER chaperones and the basis for this selectivity remains obscure. Recent development of molecular tools and functional assays has expanded the spectrum of clients that rely on GRP94 activity, but it is still not clear how the chaperone binds them, or what aspect of folding it impacts. These mechanistic questions and the regulation of GRP94 activity by other proteins and by post-translational modification differences pose new questions and present future research avenues. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Folding


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • glucose-regulated proteins