Washington University in St. Louis

New Publication by Kevin Stein & the True Lab

Congratulations, Kevin, on your 2nd publication for the year!

Stein KC, Bengoechea R, Harms MB, Weihl CC, True HL (2014) Myopathy-Causing Mutations in an Hsp40 Chaperone Disrupt Processing of Specific Client Conformers.  Journal of Biological Chemistry [E-published on June 11, 2014]

Abstract:  The molecular chaperone network protects against the toxic misfolding and aggregation of proteins. Disruption of this network leads to a variety of protein conformational disorders. One such example recently discovered is limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 1D (LGMD1D), which is caused by mutation of the HSP40 chaperone DNAJB6. All LGMD1D-associated mutations localize to the conserved G/F domain of DNAJB6, but the function of this domain is largely unknown. Here, we exploit the yeast Hsp40 Sis1, which has known aggregation-prone client proteins, to gain insight into the role of the G/F domain and its significance in LGMD1D pathogenesis. Strikingly, we demonstrate that LGMD1D mutations in a Sis1-DNAJB6 chimera differentially impair the processing of specific conformers of two yeast prions, [RNQ+] and [PSI+]. Importantly, these differences do not simply correlate to the sensitivity of these prion strains to changes in chaperone levels. Additionally, we analyzed the effect of LGMD1D-associated DNAJB6 mutations on TDP-43, a protein known to form inclusions in LGMD1D. We show that the DNAJB6 G/F domain mutants disrupt the processing of nuclear TDP-43 stress granules in mammalian cells. These data suggest that the G/F domain mediates chaperone-substrate interactions in a manner that extends beyond recognition of a particular client and to a subset of client conformers. We propose that such selective chaperone disruption may lead to the accumulation of toxic aggregate conformers and result in the development of LGMD1D and perhaps other protein conformational disorders.

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