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Cell Death Dis. 2016 Feb 11;7:e2089. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.390.

Hsp90 modulates the stability of MLKL and is required for TNF-induced necroptosis.

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State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology, Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China.


The pseudokinase mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL) is a key component of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced necroptosis and plays a crucial role in necroptosis execution. However, the mechanisms that control MLKL activity are not completely understood. Here, we identify the molecular chaperone Hsp90 as a novel MLKL-interacting protein. We show that Hsp90 associates with MLKL and is required for MLKL stability. Moreover, we find that Hsp90 also regulates the stability of the upstream RIP3 kinase. Interference with Hsp90 function with the 17AAG inhibitor destabilizes MLKL and RIP3, resulting in their degradation by the proteasome pathway. Furthermore, we find that Hsp90 is required for TNF-stimulated necrosome assembly. Disruption of Hsp90 function prevents necrosome formation and strongly reduces MLKL phosphorylation and inhibits TNF-induced necroptosis. Consistent with a positive role of Hsp90 in necroptosis, coexpression of Hsp90 increases MLKL oligomerization and plasma membrane translocation and enhances MLKL-mediated necroptosis. Our findings demonstrate that an efficient necrotic response requires a functional Hsp90.

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