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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;20(24):9262-70.

Role of HSP90 in salt stress tolerance via stabilization and regulation of calcineurin.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan.


The role of HSP90 in stress tolerance was investigated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cells showing 20-fold overexpression of Hsc82, an HSP90 homologue in yeast, were hypersensitive to high-NaCl or H-LiCl stresses. Hsc82-overexpressing cells appeared similar to calcineurin-defective cells in salt sensitivity and showed reduced levels of calcineurin-dependent gene expression. Co-overexpression of Cna2, the catalytic subunit of calcineurin, suppressed the hypersensitivity. Cna2 and Hsc82 coimmunoprecipitated from control cells grown under normal conditions but not from stressed cells. In contrast, coimmunoprecipitation was detected with Hsc82-overexpressing cells even after exposure to stresses. Cna2 immune complexes from stressed control cells showed a significant level of calcineurin activity, whereas those from stressed Hsc82-overexpressing cells did not. Treatment of extracts from Hsc82-overexpressing cells with Ca(2+)-calmodulin increased the calcineurin activity associated with Cna2 immune complexes. Geldanamycin, an inhibitor of HSP90 abolished the coimmunoprecipitation but did not activate calcineurin. When the expression level of Hsc82 decreased to below 30% of the normal level, cells also became hypersensitive to salt stress. In these cells, the amount of Cna2 was reduced, likely as a result of degradation. The present results showed that Hsc82 binds to and stabilizes Cna2 and that dissociation of Cna2 from Hsc82 is necessary for its activation.

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