The UNC-45 family of molecular chaperones is expressed in metazoan organisms from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans. The UNC-45 protein is essential in C. elegans for early body-wall muscle cell development and A-band assembly. We show that the myosin-binding UCS domain of UNC-45 alone is sufficient to rescue lethal unc-45 null mutants arrested in embryonic muscle development and temperature-sensitive loss-of-function unc-45 mutants defective in worm A-band assembly. Removal of the Hsp90-binding TPR domain of UNC-45 does not affect rescue. Similar results were obtained with overexpression of the same fragments in wild-type nematodes when assayed for diminution of myosin accumulation and assembly. Titration experiments show that, on a per molecule basis, UCS has greater activity in C. elegans muscle in vivo than full-length UNC-45 protein, suggesting that UNC-45 is inhibited by either the TPR domain or its interaction with the general chaperone Hsp90. In vitro experiments with purified recombinant C. elegans Hsp90 and UNC-45 proteins show that they compete for binding to C. elegans myosin. Our in vivo genetic and in vitro biochemical experiments are consistent with a novel inhibitory role for Hsp90 with respect to UNC-45 action. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Ni, W., Hutagalung, A. H., Li, S., & Epstein, H. F. (2011). The myosin-binding UCS domain but not the Hsp90-binding TPR domain of the UNC-45 chaperone is essential for function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Cell Science, 124(18), 3164–3173. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.087320