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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 19;277(16):14060-7. Epub 2002 Jan 30.

Interaction of the molecular chaperone Hsp70 with human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Cancer Center, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (EC; DT-Diaphorase, NQO1) is predominantly a cytosolic flavoenzyme that catalyzes a two-electron reduction. Using human tumor cell lines devoid of NQO1 enzymatic activity, we have previously identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (NQO1*2 allele) in the human NQO1 gene. This mutation has been characterized as a genetic polymorphism (NQO1*2), which leads to greatly diminished levels of protein due to rapid degradation of the NQO1*2 protein by the ubiquitin proteasomal pathway (UPP). In an attempt to decipher the mechanism responsible for the differential stability of wild-type NQO1*1 and mutant NQO1*2 proteins, we have investigated the interactions of these proteins with molecular chaperones of the Hsp family. Using co-immunoprecipitation studies (co-IPs), no association was observed between Hsp90 and either wild-type NQO1*1 or mutant NQO1*2 proteins. Hsp70, however, was found to associate with NQO1*1 protein in cells when co-IPs were performed with an anti-NQO1 antibody followed by immunoblotting with an anti-Hsp70 antibody or vice versa. Hsp40 could also be detected in the immunoprecipitated protein complex. Experiments were also performed using either the NQO1*1 or NQO1*2 coding regions in an in vitro transcription/translation system employing rabbit reticulocyte lysates (RRLs). Consistent with the cellular data, co-IP experiments in RRLs demonstrated an association of Hsp70 with wild-type NQO1*1 protein but not with NQO1*2 protein. To further elucidate the role of the association of Hsp70 with the NQO1*1 protein, site-directed mutagenesis was used to modify a proposed Hsp70 binding site near the N terminus of the NQO1 protein. We generated a plasmid containing an NQO1*1 coding region with a mutated Hsp70 binding site (isoleucine to aspartic acid at position 8, NQO1*1/I8D). In contrast to the NQO1*1 protein translated in RRLs, the NQO1*1/I8D protein did not associate with Hsp70, as demonstrated by co-IP, was catalytically inactive, and was degraded by the UPP. These data suggest that the association of Hsp70 with NQO1*1 may play an important role in the stability and functionality of the NQO1 protein.

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