Nuclear aggregation of huntingtin is not prevented by deletion of chaperone Hsp104

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Polyglutamine expansion causes the disease proteins to aggregate, resulting in stable insoluble aggregates in the nucleus. The in vitro aggregation and cellular toxicity of polyglutamine proteins are reduced by chaperone heat shock proteins (Hsp). In polyglutamine disease animal models, however, polyglutamine inclusions remain in the nucleus despite the suppression of neurodegeneration by Hsp. Studies using yeast genetic approach revealed that the balance of Hsp is important for regulating protein aggregation in the cytoplasm of yeast cells. Here we report that N-terminal fragments of huntingtin with an expanded polyglutamine tract form aggregates only in the cytoplasm of yeast cells and, when tagged with nuclear localization sequences (NLS), are able to aggregate in the nucleus. Deletion of the Hsp104 gene prevents the aggregation of huntingtin in the cytoplasm but is unable to eliminate the aggregation of NLS-tagged huntingtin in the nucleus. The inhibitory effect of Hsp104 deletion on the cytoplasmic aggregation of huntingtin only occurs in viable yeast cells, as aggregates can be formed in Hsp104 deletion cells that have been frozen for 72 h. Fresh cytosolic extracts of the Hsp104 deletion strain inhibit the aggregation of huntingtin in vitro, suggesting that the deletion of Hsp104 may alter the activities of other cytoplasmic factors to inhibit polyglutamine aggregation in the cytoplasm. We propose that the regulatory effects of chaperones may mainly be restricted to the cytoplasm and have much less influence on polyglutamine-containing aggregates in the nucleus. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.




Cao, F., Levine, J. J., Li, S. H., & Li, X. J. (2001). Nuclear aggregation of huntingtin is not prevented by deletion of chaperone Hsp104. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1537(2), 158–166.

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