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Yeast. 2010 Mar;27(3):167-79. doi: 10.1002/yea.1742.

Hsp70/Hsp90 co-chaperones are required for efficient Hsp104-mediated elimination of the yeast [PSI(+)] prion but not for prion propagation.

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Kent Fungal Group, School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.


The continued propagation of the yeast [PSI(+)] prion requires the molecular chaperone Hsp104 yet in cells engineered to overexpress Hsp104; prion propagation is impaired leading to the rapid appearance of prion-free [psi(-)] cells. The underlying mechanism of prion loss in such cells is unknown but is assumed to be due to the complete dissolution of the prion aggregates by the ATP-dependent disaggregase activity of this chaperone. To further explore the mechanism, we have sought to identify cellular factors required for prion loss in such cells. Sti1p and Cpr7p are co-chaperones that modulate the activity of Hsp70/Ssa and Hsp90 chaperones and bind to the C-terminus of Hsp104. Neither Sti1p nor Cpr7p is necessary for prion propagation but we show that deletion of the STI1 and CPR7 genes leads to a significant reduction in the generation of [psi(-)] cells by Hsp104 overexpression. Deletion of the STI1 and CPR7 genes does not modify the elimination of [PSI(+)] by guanidine hydrochloride, which inhibits the ATPase activity of Hsp104 but does block elimination of [PSI(+)] by overexpression of either an ATPase-defective mutant of Hsp104 (hsp104(K218T/K620T)) or a 'trap' mutant Hsp104 (hsp104(E285Q/E687Q)) that can bind its substrate but can not release it. These results provide support for the hypothesis that [PSI(+)] elimination by Hsp104 overexpression is not simply a consequence of complete dissolution of the prion aggregates but rather is through a mechanism distinct from the remodelling activity of Hsp104.

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