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.