Immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein (BiP protein) is a 75-kDa Hsp70 monomeric ATPase motor that plays broad and crucial roles maintaining proteostasis inside the cell. Its malfunction has been related with the appearance of many and important health problems such as neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and heart diseases, among others. In particular, it is involved in many endoplasmic reticulum (ER) processes and functions, such as protein synthesis, folding, and assembly, and also it works in the posttranslational mechanism of protein translocation. However, it is unknown what kind of molecular motor BiP works like, since the mechanochemical mechanism that BiP utilizes to perform its work during posttranslational translocation across the ER is not fully understood. One novel approach to study both structural and catalytic properties of BiP considers that the viscoelastic regime behavior of the enzymes (considering them as a spring) and their mechanical properties are correlated with catalysis and ligand binding. Structurally, BiP is formed by two domains, and to establish a correlation between BiP structure and catalysis and how its conformational and viscoelastic changes are coupled to ligand binding, catalysis, and allosterism (information transmitted between the domains), optical tweezers and nano-rheology techniques have been essential in this regard.
Part of the book: Endoplasmic Reticulum