Beyond Chaperoning: UCS Proteins Emerge as Regulators of Myosin-Mediated Cellular Processes

Odutayo O. Odunuga, Andres F. Oberhauser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The UCS (UNC-45/CRO1/She4p) family of proteins has emerged as chaperones specific for the folding, assembly, and function of myosin. UCS proteins participate in various myosin-dependent cellular processes including myofibril organization and muscle functions, cell differentiation, striated muscle development, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Mutations in the genes that code for UCS proteins cause serious defects in myosin-dependent cellular processes. UCS proteins that contain an N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain are called UNC-45. Vertebrates usually possess two variants of UNC-45, the ubiquitous general-cell UNC-45 (UNC-45A) and the striated muscle UNC-45 (UNC-45B), which is exclusively expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscles. Except for the TPR domain in UNC-45, UCS proteins comprise of several irregular armadillo (ARM) repeats that are organized into a central domain, a neck region, and the canonical C-terminal UCS domain that functions as the chaperoning module. With or without TPR, UCS proteins form linear oligomers that serve as scaffolds that mediate myosin folding, organization into myofibrils, repair, and motility. This chapter reviews emerging functions of these proteins with a focus on UNC-45 as a dedicated chaperone for folding, assembly, and function of myosin at protein and potentially gene levels. Recent experimental evidences strongly support UNC-45 as an absolute regulator of myosin, with each domain of the chaperone playing different but complementary roles during the folding, assembly, and function of myosin, as well as recruiting Hsp90 as a co-chaperone to optimize key steps. It is becoming increasingly clear that UNC-45 also regulates the transcription of several genes involved in myosin-dependent cellular processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSubcellular Biochemistry
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSubcellular Biochemistry
ISSN (Print)0306-0225


  • Chaperones
  • Co-chaperones
  • Myosin
  • Regulator
  • TPR
  • UCS
  • UNC-45

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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