DnaK-dependent accelerated evolutionary rate in prokaryotes

A. Samer Kadibalban, David Bogumil, Giddy Landan, Tal Dagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Many proteins depend on an interaction with molecular chaperones in order to fold into a functional tertiary structure. Previous studies showed that protein interaction with the GroEL/GroES chaperonine and Hsp90 chaperone can buffer the impact of slightly deleterious mutations in the protein sequence. This capacity of GroEL/GroES to prevent protein misfolding has been shown to accelerate the evolution of its client proteins. Whether other bacterial chaperones have a similar effect on their client proteins is currently unknown. Here, we study the impact of DnaK (Hsp70) chaperone on the evolution of its client proteins. Evolutionary parameters were derived from comparison of the Escherichia coli proteome to 1,808,565 orthologous proteins in 1,149 proteobacterial genomes. Our analysis reveals a significant positive correlation between protein binding frequency with DnaK and evolutionary rate. Proteins with high binding affinity to DnaK evolve on average 4.3-fold faster than proteins in the lowest binding affinity class at the genus resolution. Differences in evolutionary rates of DnaK interactor classes are still significant after adjusting for possible effects caused by protein expression level. Furthermore, we observe an additive effect of DnaK and GroEL chaperones on the evolutionary rates of their common interactors. Finally, we found pronounced similarities in the physicochemical profiles that characterize proteins belonging to DnaK and GroEL interactomes. Our results thus implicate DnaK-mediated folding as a major component in shaping protein evolutionary dynamics in bacteria and supply further evidence for the long-term manifestation of chaperone-mediated folding on genome evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590-1599
Number of pages10
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2016


  • Chaperones.
  • Genome evolution
  • GroEL
  • Microbial evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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