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J Mol Biol. 2002 Jan 25;315(4):787-98.

Stimulation of the weak ATPase activity of human hsp90 by a client protein.

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Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK.


Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a molecular chaperone involved in the folding and assembly of a limited set of "client" proteins, many of which are involved in signal transduction pathways. In vivo, it is found in complex with additional proteins, including the chaperones Hsp70, Hsp40, Hip and Hop (Hsp-interacting and Hsp-organising proteins, respectively), as well as high molecular mass immunophilins, such as FKBP59, and the small acidic protein p23. The role of these proteins in Hsp90-mediated assembly processes is poorly understood. It is known that ATP binding and hydrolysis are essential for Hsp90 function in vivo and in vitro. Here we show, for the first time, that human Hsp90 has ATPase activity in vitro. The ATPase activity is characterised using a sensitive assay based on a chemically modified form of the phosphate-binding protein from Escherichia coli. Human Hsp90 is a very weak ATPase, its activity is significantly lower than that of the yeast homologue, and it has a half-life of ATP hydrolysis of eight minutes at 37 degrees C. Using a physiological substrate of Hsp90, the ligand-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor, we show that this "client" protein can stimulate the ATPase activity up to 200-fold. This effect is highly specific and unfolded or partially folded proteins, which are known to bind to Hsp90, do not affect the ATPase activity. In addition, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, which is related in both sequence and structure to the glucocorticoid receptor but which does not bind Hsp90, has no observable effect on the ATPase activity. We establish the effect of the co-chaperones Hop, FKBP59 and p23 on the basal ATPase activity as well as the client protein-stimulated ATPase activity of human Hsp90. In contrast with the yeast system, human Hop has little effect on the basal rate of ATP hydrolysis but significantly inhibits the client-protein stimulated rate. Similarly, FKBP59 has little effect on the basal rate but stimulates the client-protein stimulated rate further. In contrast, p23 inhibits both the basal and stimulated rates of ATP hydrolysis. Our results show that the ATPase activity of human Hsp90 is highly regulated by both client protein and co-chaperone binding. We suggest that the rate of ATP hydrolysis is critical to the mode of action of Hsp90, consistent with results that have shown that both over and under-active ATPase mutants of yeast Hsp90 have impaired function in vivo. We suggest that the tight regulation of the ATPase activity of Hsp90 is important and allows the client protein to remain bound to Hsp90 for sufficient time for activation to occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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