Molecular chaperones are essential proteins that participate in the regulation of steroid receptors in eukaryotes. The steroid aporeceptor complex contains the molecular chaperones Hsp90 and Hsp70, p48, the cyclophilin Cyp-40, and the associated proteins p23 and p60. In vitro folding assays showed that Cyp-40 and p23 functioned as molecular chaperones in a manner similar to that of Hsp90 or Hsp70. Although neither Cyp-40 nor p23 could completely refold an unfolded substrate, both proteins interacted with the substrate to maintain a nonnative folding-competent intermediate. Thus, the steroid aporeceptor complexes have multiple chaperone components that maintain substrates in an intermediate folded state.
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