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Genetics. 2003 Feb;163(2):495-506.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hsp70 mutations affect [PSI+] prion propagation and cell growth differently and implicate Hsp40 and tetratricopeptide repeat cochaperones in impairment of [PSI+].

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  • 1Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0851, USA.


We previously described an Hsp70 mutant (Ssa1-21p), altered in a conserved residue (L483W), that dominantly impairs yeast [PSI(+)] prion propagation without affecting growth. We generated new SSA1 mutations that impaired [PSI(+)] propagation and second-site mutations in SSA1-21 that restored normal propagation. Effects of mutations on growth did not correlate with [PSI(+)] phenotype, revealing differences in Hsp70 function required for growth and [PSI(+)] propagation and suggesting that Hsp70 interacts differently with [PSI(+)] prion aggregates than with other cellular substrates. Complementary suppression of altered activity between forward and suppressing mutations suggests that mutations that impair [PSI(+)] affect a similar Hsp70 function and that suppressing mutations similarly overcome this effect. All new mutations that impaired [PSI(+)] propagation were located in the ATPase domain. Locations and homology of several suppressing substitutions suggest that they weaken Hsp70's substrate-trapping conformation, implying that impairment of [PSI(+)] by forward mutations is due to altered ability of the ATPase domain to regulate substrate binding. Other suppressing mutations are in residues important for interactions with Hsp40 or TPR-containing cochaperones, suggesting that such interactions are necessary for the impairment of [PSI(+)] propagation caused by mutant Ssa1p.

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