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Jan 2015 Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

Stability of the human Hsp90-p50Cdc37 chaperone complex against nucleotides and Hsp90 inhibitors, and the influence of phosphorylation by casein kinase 2.


Olesen SH, Ingles DJ, Zhu JY, Martin MP, Betzi S, Georg GI, Tash JS, Schönbrunn E


The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is regulated by co-chaperones such as p50Cdc37, which recruits a wide selection of client protein kinases. Targeted disruption of the Hsp90-p50Cdc37 complex by protein-protein interaction (PPI) inhibitors has emerged as an alternative strategy to treat diseases characterized by aberrant Hsp90 activity. Using isothermal microcalorimetry, ELISA and GST-pull down assays we evaluated reported Hsp90 inhibitors and nucleotides for their ability to inhibit formation of the human Hsp90β-p50Cdc37 complex, reconstituted in vitro from full-length proteins. Hsp90 inhibitors, including the proposed PPI inhibitors gedunin and H2-gamendazole, did not affect the interaction of Hsp90 with p50Cdc37 in vitro. Phosphorylation of Hsp90 and p50Cdc37 by casein kinase 2 (CK2) did not alter the thermodynamic signature of complex formation. However, the phosphorylated complex was vulnerable to disruption by ADP (IC50 = 32 µM), while ATP, AMPPNP and Hsp90 inhibitors remained largely ineffective. The differential inhibitory activity of ADP suggests that phosphorylation by CK2 primes the complex for dissociation in response to a drop in ATP/ADP levels. The approach applied herein provides robust assays for a comprehensive biochemical evaluation of potential effectors of the Hsp90-p50Cdc37 complex, such as phosphorylation by a kinase or the interaction with small molecule ligands.

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