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J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 30;285(18):13850-62. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.040600. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Hsp90 cochaperone Aha1 is a negative regulator of the Saccharomyces MAL activator and acts early in the chaperone activation pathway.

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  • 1Biology Department, Queens College-City University of New York, Flushing, New York 11367, USA.


Aha1 is a ubiquitous cochaperone of the Hsp90/Hsp70 chaperone machine. It binds the middle domain of Hsp90 and stimulates ATPase activity, suggesting a function late in the chaperone pathway. Saccharomyces Mal63 MAL activator is a DNA-binding transcription factor and Hsp90 client protein. This study utilizes several MAL activator mutants to investigate Aha1 function in vivo. Deletion of AHA1 enhances induced Mal63-dependent maltase activity levels 2-fold, whereas overproduction of Aha1 represses expression. Maltase expression in strains carrying constitutive and super-inducible mutant activators with alterations near the C terminus (particularly residues 433-463) is unaffected by either aha1Delta or Aha1 overproduction. However, another constitutive activator with alterations outside of this C-terminal region is sensitive to Aha1 regulation. Previously, we showed that in the absence of inducer, Mal63 forms a stable intermediate complex with Hsp70, Hsp90, and Sti1, whereas noninducible mutant activators bind only with Hsp70 in an apparent early complex. Here, we find that triple Myc-tagged Aha1/Myc3 copurifies with all noninducible Mal63 mutant activators tested. Aha1/Myc3 association with inducible Mal63 is observed only in a sti1Delta strain, in which Hsp90 binding and intermediate complex formation are defective. Constitutive and super-inducible mutant activators with C-terminal alterations do not bind Aha1 even in a sti1Delta strain. Mal63 binding to Hsp90 and Hsp70 is enhanced 3-fold by loss of Aha1. These results suggest an interaction between Aha1 and residues near the C terminus of Mal63 thereby regulating Hsp90 association. A novel mechanism for the negative regulation of the MAL activator by Aha1 cochaperone is proposed.

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