A highly evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial protein is structurally related to the protein encoded by the Escherichia coli groEL gene

Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Jan;8(1):371-80. doi: 10.1128/mcb.8.1.371-380.1988.


We recently reported that a Tetrahymena thermophila 58-kilodalton (kDa) mitochondrial protein (hsp58) was selectively synthesized during heat shock. In this study, we show that hsp58 displayed antigenic similarity with mitochondrially associated proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (64 kDa), Xenopus laevis (60 kDa), Zea mays (62 kDa), and human cells (59 kDa). Furthermore, a 58-kDa protein from Escherichia coli also exhibited antigenic cross-reactivity to an antiserum directed against the T. thermophila mitochondrial protein. The proteins from S. cerevisiae and E. coli antigenically related to hsp58 were studied in detail and found to share several other characteristics with hsp58, including heat inducibility and the property of associating into distinct oligomeric complexes. The T. thermophila, S. cerevisiae, and E. coli macromolecular complexes containing these related proteins had similar sedimentation characteristics and virtually identical morphologies as seen with the electron microscope. The distinctive properties of the E. coli homolog to T. thermophila hsp58 indicate that it is most likely the product of the groEL gene.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Biological Evolution
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Cross Reactions
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics
  • Zea mays / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Chaperonin 60
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins