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

Question: Can a bacterium survive without GroEL protein?


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).


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.



  • $\begingroup$ 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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.