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Commun Integr Biol. 2013 Jul 1;6(4):e24925. doi: 10.4161/cib.24925. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Chaperone-assisted proteostasis is essential for mechanotransduction in mammalian cells.

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Institute for Cell Biology; University of Bonn; Bonn, Germany.


Maintaining the dynamic proteome of a living cell in the face of an ever-changing environment depends on a fine-tuned balance of protein synthesis and protein degradation. Molecular chaperones exert key functions during protein homeostasis (proteostasis). They associate with nonnative client proteins following synthesis or damage and facilitate client sorting and folding. When client proteins are terminally misfolded, chaperones cooperate with protein degradation systems to dispose of such clients. This dual proteostasis activity of chaperones is essential for maintaining cell function under normal growth conditions and becomes even more important under stress conditions such as heat and oxidative stress. The recent identification of chaperone-assisted selective autophagy (CASA) as a tension-induced autophagy pathway highlights the critical role of molecular chaperones in mechanically strained cells and tissues. The CASA complex, assembled by the cochaperone BAG3, coordinates protein degradation and protein synthesis in response to mechanical force. Here we describe the composition and function of this chaperone complex in mammals and discuss its relevance for tissue homeostasis and the regulation of cell adhesion, migration and proliferation. We provide a unifying concept for the function of BAG3, which integrates its involvement in muscle maintenance, tumor formation and virus infection.


BAG3; CASA; Hsp70; WW domain; autophagy; chaperone; mechanotransduction; ubiquitin

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