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The heat shock proteins hslV and hslU (also known as clpQ and clpY respectively) are expressed in many bacteria such as E. coli in response to cell stress. The hslV protein is a protease and the hslU protein is an ATPase; the two form a symmetric assembly of four stacked rings, consisting of an hslV dodecamer bound to an hslU hexamer, with a central pore in which the protease and ATPase active sites reside. The hslV protein degrades unneeded or damaged proteins only when in complex with the hslU protein in the ATP-bound state. The complex is thought to resemble the hypothetical ancestor of the proteasome, a large protein complex specialized for regulated degradation of unneeded proteins in eukaryotes, many archaea, and a few bacteria.