ClpX is a member of the Clp/Hsp100 family of ATP-dependent chaperones and partners with ClpP, a compartmentalized protease, to degrade protein substrates bearing specific recognition signals. ClpX targets specific proteins for degradation directly or with substrate-specific adaptor proteins. Native substrates of ClpXP include proteins that form large oligomeric assemblies, such as MuA, FtsZ, and Dps in Escherichia coli. To remodel large oligomeric substrates, ClpX utilizes multivalent targeting strategies and discriminates between assembled and unassembled substrate conformations. Although ClpX and ClpP are known to associate with protein aggregates in E. coli, a potential role for ClpXP in disaggregation remains poorly characterized. Here, we discuss strategies utilized by ClpX to recognize native and non-native protein aggregates and the mechanisms by which ClpX alone, and with ClpP, remodels the conformations of various aggregates. We show that ClpX promotes the disassembly and reactivation of aggregated Gfp-ssrA through specific substrate remodeling. In the presence of ClpP, ClpX promotes disassembly and degradation of aggregated substrates bearing specific ClpX recognition signals, including heat-aggregated Gfp-ssrA, as well as polymeric and heat-aggregated FtsZ, which is a native ClpXP substrate in E. coli. Finally, we show that ClpX is present in insoluble aggregates and prevents the accumulation of thermal FtsZ aggregates in vivo, suggesting that ClpXP participates in the management of aggregates bearing ClpX recognition signals.
LaBreck, C. J., May, S., Viola, M. G., Conti, J., & Camberg, J. L. (2017). The protein chaperone ClpX targets native and non-native aggregated substrates for remodeling, disassembly, and degradation with ClpP. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 4(MAY). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2017.00026