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Direct involvement of Hsp70 ATP hydrolysis in Ubr1-dependent quality control


Chaperones can mediate both protein folding and degradation. This process is referred to as protein triage, which demands study to reveal mechanisms of quality control for both basic scientific and translational purposes. In yeast, many misfolded proteins undergo chaperone-dependent ubiquitination by the action of the E3 ligases Ubr1 and San1, allowing detailed study of protein triage. In cells, both HSP70 and HSP90 mediated substrate ubiquitination, and the canonical ATP cycle was required for HSP70's role: we have found that ATP hydrolysis by HSP70, the nucleotide exchange activity of Sse1, and the action of J-proteins are all needed for Ubr1-mediated quality control. To discern whether chaperones were directly involved in Ubr1-mediated ubiquitination, we developed a bead-based assay with covalently immobilized but releasable misfolded protein to obviate possible chaperone effects on substrate physical state or transport. In this in vitro assay, only HSP70 was required, along with its ATPase cycle and relevant cochaperones, for Ubr1-mediated ubiquitination. The requirement for the HSP70 ATP cycle in ubiquitination suggests a possible model of triage in which efficiently folded proteins are spared, while slow-folding or nonfolding proteins are iteratively tagged with ubiquitin for subsequent degradation.

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