Author(s): Wang AM, Morishima Y, Clapp KM, Peng HM, Pratt WB,
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Abstract The Hsp90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery regulates the activity and degradation of many signaling proteins. Cycling with Hsp90 stabilizes client proteins, whereas Hsp70 interacts with chaperone-dependent E3 ubiquitin ligases to promote protein degradation. To probe these actions, small molecule inhibitors of Hsp70 would be extremely useful; however, few have been identified. Here we test the effects of methylene blue, a recently described inhibitor of Hsp70 ATPase activity, in three well established systems of increasing complexity. First, we demonstrate that methylene blue inhibits the ability of the purified Hsp90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery to enable ligand binding by the glucocorticoid receptor and show that this effect is due to specific inhibition of Hsp70. Next, we establish that ubiquitination of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase by the native ubiquitinating system of reticulocyte lysate is dependent upon both Hsp70 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase CHIP and is blocked by methylene blue. Finally, we demonstrate that methylene blue impairs degradation of the polyglutamine expanded androgen receptor, an Hsp90 client mutated in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. In contrast, degradation of an amino-terminal fragment of the receptor, which lacks the ligand binding domain and, therefore, is not a client of the Hsp90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery, is enhanced through homeostatic induction of autophagy that occurs when Hsp70-dependent proteasomal degradation is inhibited by methylene blue. Our data demonstrate the utility of methylene blue in defining Hsp70-dependent functions and reveal divergent effects on polyglutamine protein degradation depending on whether the substrate is an Hsp90 client.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism