Development of Fluorescence Polarization Assays for the Molecular Chaperone Hsp70 Family Members: Hsp72 and DnaK
We have studied the binding of synthetic peptides to three hsp70 molecular chaperones, DnaK, BiP, and hsc70, as a model for the interaction of hsp70 proteins with unfolded regions of target polypeptides. We measured the ability of 53 peptides to inhibit the formation of complexes between the hsp70 proteins and denatured lactalbumin. Peptides that bound with highest affinity to all three hsp70 proteins contained stretches of at least 7 residues that included large hydrophobic and basic amino acids, but few or no acidic residues. Amino acid substitutions within one heptameric peptide showed that an important feature for its binding to all three chaperones was a large hydrophobic residue in position 4, while specificity differences between the chaperones were revealed by substitutions at positions 2 and 6. Such specificity differences were frequently observed with other peptides, the most extreme example being a peptide rich in basic residues that bound with high affinity to DnaK, intermediate affinity to hsc70, and negligible affinity to BiP. Substitution of a lysine residue at position 2 in this peptide by tyrosine abolished the specificity difference by increasing the affinities of the DnaK and hsc70 proteins 5- and 20-fold, respectively, and that of BiP by greater than 2 orders of magnitude. Thus, hsp70 proteins can exhibit common or exclusive binding specificities, depending on the peptide sequence.