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In prokaryotes, GroEL protein (together with GroES) is required for protein folding.

Question: Can a bacterium survive without GroEL protein?

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In E. coli, GroEL/GroES is found to interact with about 10% of all soluble proteins (Kerner et al. Cell 2005) and is the only chaperone essential to the bacterium under all tested conditions (Horwich et al. Cell 1993).

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There doesn't appear to be a knockout for it in the Keio collection (they systematically knocked out genes in E coli to assess essentiality, via recombineering).

If they couldn't knock it out, that strongly suggests it's an essential gene and the organism cannot survive without it.

http://cgsc.biology.yale.edu/KeioList.php

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1681482/

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  • $\begingroup$ There is a groEL knockout: cgsc2.biology.yale.edu/Strain.php?ID=109235 $\endgroup$ – canadianer Feb 24 '17 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ That's only a GroL knockout, so I'd say the point still stands. $\endgroup$ – Joe Healey Feb 25 '17 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm fairly sure groL and groEL are synonyms. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Feb 25 '17 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ You may be right, I assumed they were a pair, but I think I'm confusing this with it's interaction with ES. If so, I stand corrected. And that nomenclature is stupid :p $\endgroup$ – Joe Healey Feb 25 '17 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Haha agreed. Also, in the page I linked to: "There is some question as to if this strain has a complete knockout of groL". $\endgroup$ – canadianer Feb 25 '17 at 18:17

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