Proteostasis and redox homeostasis are tightly interconnected and most protein quality control pathways are under direct redox regulation which allow cells to immediately respond to oxidative stress conditions. The activation of ATP-independent chaperones serves as a first line of defense to counteract oxidative unfolding and aggregation of proteins. Conserved cysteine residues evolved as redox-sensitive switches which upon reversible oxidation induce substantial conformational rearrangements and the formation of chaperone-active complexes. In addition to harnessing unfolding proteins, these chaperone holdases interact with ATP-dependent chaperone systems to facilitate client refolding and restoring proteostasis during stress recovery. This minireview gives an insight into highly orchestrated mechanisms regulating the stress-specific activation and inactivation of redox-regulated chaperones and their role in cell stress responses.

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