Protein Structure and Folding
- Hsp70s are multifunctional proteins and serve as the central hub of the protein quality control network. Hsp70s are also related to a number of diseases and have been established as drug targets. Human HspA1A (hHsp70) and HspA8 (hHsc70) are the major cytosolic Hsp70s, and they have both overlapping and distinct functions. hHsp70 contains five cysteine residues, and hHsc70 contains four cysteine residues. Previous studies have shown these cysteine residues can undergo different cysteine modifications such as oxidation or reaction with electrophiles to regulate their function, and hHsp70 and hHsc70 have different cysteine reactivity.
- Human ARID4A and ARID4B are homologous proteins that are important in controlling gene expression and epigenetic regulation but have distinct functions. Previous studies have shown that the N-terminal domain of ARID4A is an unusual interdigitated double Tudor domain with DNA-binding activity. However, how the Tudor domain of ARID4B differs from that of ARID4A remains unknown. Here, we found that the ARID4B Tudor domain has significantly weaker DNA affinity than the ARID4A Tudor domain despite sharing more than 80% sequence identity.
- Hsp70 proteins are a family of ancient and conserved chaperones. They play important roles in vital cellular processes, such as protein quality control and the stress response. Hsp70 proteins are a potential drug target for treatment of disease, particularly cancer. PES (2-phenylethynesulfonamide or pifithrin-μ) has been reported to be an inhibitor of Hsp70. However, the mechanism of PES inhibition is still unclear. In this study we found that PES can undergo a Michael addition reaction with Cys-574 and Cys-603 in the SBDα of human HspA1A (hHsp70), resulting in covalent attachment of a PES molecule to each Cys residue.
- Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) proteins are a family of ancient and conserved chaperones. Cysteine modifications have been widely detected among different Hsp70 family members in vivo, but their effects on Hsp70 structure and function are unclear. Here, we treated HeLa cells with diamide, which typically induces disulfide bond formation except in the presence of excess GSH, when glutathionylated cysteines predominate. We show that in these cells, HspA1A (hHsp70) undergoes reversible cysteine modifications, including glutathionylation, potentially at all five cysteine residues.
- The allosteric coupling of the highly conserved nucleotide- and substrate-binding domains of Hsp70 has been studied intensively. In contrast, the role of the disordered, highly variable C-terminal region of Hsp70 remains unclear. In many eukaryotic Hsp70s, the extreme C-terminal EEVD motif binds to the tetratricopeptide-repeat domains of Hsp70 co-chaperones. Here, we discovered that the TVEEVD sequence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cytoplasmic Hsp70 (Ssa1) functions as a SUMO-interacting motif. A second C-terminal motif of ∼15 amino acids between the α-helical lid and the extreme C terminus, previously identified in bacterial and eukaryotic organellar Hsp70s, is known to enhance chaperone function by transiently interacting with folding clients.
- DnaK is the major bacterial Hsp70, participating in DNA replication, protein folding, and the stress response. DnaK cooperates with the Hsp40 co-chaperone DnaJ and the nucleotide exchange factor GrpE. Under non-stress conditions, DnaK binds to the heat shock transcription factor σ32 and facilitates its degradation. Oxidative stress results in temporary inactivation of DnaK due to depletion of cellular ATP and thiol modifications such as glutathionylation until normal cellular ATP levels and a reducing environment are restored.
- Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is an abundant protein that is highly conserved in eukaryotes. However, its primary function is still not clear. Human TCTP interacts with the metazoan-specific eukaryotic elongation factor 1Bδ (eEF1Bδ) and inhibits its guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity, but the structural mechanism remains unknown. The interaction between TCTP and eEF1Bδ was investigated by NMR titration, structure determination, paramagnetic relaxation enhancement, site-directed mutagenesis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and HADDOCK docking.