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Mol Cell. 2006 Sep 15;23(6):887-97.

Chaperonin TRiC promotes the assembly of polyQ expansion proteins into nontoxic oligomers.

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Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried.


Aberrant folding and fibrillar aggregation by polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion proteins are associated with cytotoxicity in Huntington's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Hsp70 chaperones have an inhibitory effect on fibril formation and can alleviate polyQ cytotoxicity. Here we show that the cytosolic chaperonin, TRiC, functions synergistically with Hsp70 in this process and is limiting in suppressing polyQ toxicity in a yeast model. In vitro reconstitution experiments revealed that TRiC, in cooperation with the Hsp70 system, promotes the assembly of polyQ-expanded fragments of huntingtin (Htt) into soluble oligomers of approximately 500 kDa. Similar oligomers were observed in yeast cells upon TRiC overexpression and were found to be benign, in contrast to conformationally distinct Htt oligomers of approximately 200 kDa, which accumulated at normal TRiC levels and correlated with inhibition of cell growth. We suggest that TRiC cooperates with the Hsp70 system as a key component in the cellular defense against amyloid-like protein misfolding.

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