Research in Microbiology vol:160 issue:9 pages:645-651
After their first discovery in Escherichia coli, Lon homologues were found to be widely distributed among prokaryotes to eukaryotes. The ATP-dependent Lon protease belongs to the AAA(+) (ATPases associated with a variety of cellular activities) superfamily, and is involved in both general quality control by degrading abnormal proteins and in the specific control of several regulatory proteins. As such, this enzyme has a pivotal role in quality control and cellular physiology. This review focuses on mechanisms of degradation both from the protease and substrate points of view, and discusses the role of Lon in global regulation, stress response and virulence. (C) 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.