Received July 16, 2001
This review summarizes materials on the mechanisms of intracellular degradation of proteins whose topogenesis is disturbed at one stage or another. Chaperone and proteolytic systems involved in this process in the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and chloroplasts of eucaryotic cells as well as those in distinct subcellular compartments of procaryotic cells are considered. The available data suggest that living cells contain numerous systems keeping under control both folding of newly synthesized and newly imported polypeptide chains and their incorporation into heterooligomeric complexes. The point of view is elaborated that organelle formation is controlled not only at the level of individual protein molecules but also at the supermolecular level when whole organelles incapable of carrying out their integral key functions become targets for partial or total elimination. This type of control is realized through an autophagic mechanism involvinglysosomes/vacuoles.
KEY WORDS: protein, folding, oligomerization, glycosylation, chaperones, proteases, quality control, ERAD, bacterial cells, mitochondria, chloroplasts, peroxisomes, autophagy