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Eukaryot Cell. 2012 Aug;11(8):1033-41. doi: 10.1128/EC.00099-12. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Solubility-promoting function of Hsp90 contributes to client maturation and robust cell growth.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.


The Hsp90 chaperone is required for the maturation of signal transduction clients, including many kinases and nuclear steroid hormone receptors. The binding and hydrolysis of ATP by Hsp90 drive conformational rearrangements in three structure domains. Two intrinsically disordered regions of Hsp90 located between these domains and at the C terminus have traditionally been considered to impart flexibility. We discovered that the charged nature of these acid-rich disordered regions imparts a solubility-promoting function to Hsp90 that is important for its cellular activity in yeast. Both the solubility-promoting function and ATPase activity must occur in the same Hsp90 molecule in order to support robust growth, suggesting that the solubility-promoting function is required during the ATP-driven client maturation process. Expression of model clients together with Hsp90 variants indicated interdependent solubilities mediated by the aggregation propensities of both the client and Hsp90. We propose a model whereby the charge-rich disordered regions of Hsp90 serve a solubility-promoting function important for complexes with aggregation-prone clients. These findings demonstrate a novel biological function of the intrinsically disordered regions in Hsp90 and provide a compelling rationale for why their charged properties are conserved throughout eukaryotic evolution.

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