Molecular chaperones are pivotal in folding and degradation of the cellular proteome but their impact on the conformational dynamics of near-native membrane proteins with disease relevance remains unknown. Here we report the effect of chaperone activity on the functional conformation of the temperature-sensitive mutant cystic fibrosis channel (ΔF508-CFTR) at the plasma membrane and after reconstitution into phospholipid bilayer. Thermally induced unfolding at 37 °C and concomitant functional inactivation of ΔF508-CFTR are partially suppressed by constitutive activity of Hsc70 and Hsp90 chaperone/co-chaperone at the plasma membrane and post-endoplasmic reticulum compartments in vivo, and at single-molecule level in vitro, indicated by kinetic and thermodynamic remodeling of the mutant gating energetics toward its wild-type counterpart. Thus, molecular chaperones can contribute to functional maintenance of ΔF508-CFTR by reshaping the conformational energetics of its final fold, a mechanism with implication in the regulation of metastable ABC transporters and other plasma membrane proteins activity in health and diseases.
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- molecular chaperone
- plasma membrane
- chaperone activity
- Conformational analysis