Stationary-phase cultures have been used as an important model of aging, a complex process involving multiple pathways and signaling networks. However, the molecular processes underlying stress response of non-dividing cells are poorly understood, although deteriorated stress response is one of the hallmarks of aging. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model organism to study the genetics of aging, because yeast ages within days and are amenable to genetic manipulations. As a unicellular organism, yeast has evolved robust systems to respond to environmental challenges. This response is orchestrated largely by the conserved transcription factor Hsf1, which in S. cerevisiae regulates expression of multiple genes in response to diverse stresses. Here we demonstrate that Hsf1 response to heat shock and oxidative stress deteriorates during yeast transition from exponential growth to stationary-phase, whereas Hsf1 activation by glucose starvation is maintained. Overexpressing Hsf1 does not significantly improve heat shock response, indicating that Hsf1 dwindling is not the major cause for Hsf1 attenuated response in stationary-phase yeast. Rather, factors that participate in Hsf1 activation appear to be compromised. We uncover two factors, Yap1 and Sir2, which discretely function in Hsf1 activation by oxidative stress and heat shock. In ?yap1 mutant, Hsf1 does not respond to oxidative stress, while in ?sir2 mutant, Hsf1 does not respond to heat shock. Moreover, excess Sir2 mimics the heat shock response. This role of the NAD+-dependent Sir2 is supported by our finding that supplementing NAD+ precursors improves Hsf1 heat shock response in stationary-phase yeast, especially when combined with expression of excess Sir2. Finally, the combination of excess Hsf1, excess Sir2 and NAD+ precursors rejuvenates the heat shock response.
The 26S proteasome is a chambered protease in which the majority of selective cellular protein degradation takes place. Throughout evolution, access of protein substrates to chambered proteases is restricted and depends on AAA-ATPases. Mechanical force generated through cycles of ATP binding and hydrolysis is used to unfold substrates, open the gated proteolytic chamber and translocate the substrate into the active proteases within the cavity. Six distinct AAA-ATPases (Rpt1-6) at the ring base of the 19S regulatory particle of the proteasome are responsible for these three functions while interacting with the 20S catalytic chamber. Although high resolution structures of the eukaryotic 26S proteasome are not yet available, exciting recent studies shed light on the assembly of the hetero-hexameric Rpt ring and its consequent spatial arrangement, on the role of Rpt C-termini in opening the 20S gate, and on the contribution of each individual Rpt subunit to various cellular processes. These studies are illuminated by paradigms generated through studying PAN, the simpler homo-hexameric AAA-ATPase of the archaeal proteasome. The similarities between PAN and Rpts highlight the evolutionary conserved role of AAA-ATPase in protein degradation, whereas unique properties of divergent Rpts reflect the increased complexity and tighter regulation attributed to the eukaryotic proteasome.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway eliminates aberrant proteins from the ER. The key role of Cdc48p-Ufd1p-Npl4p is indicated by impaired ERAD in Saccharomyces cerevisiae with mutations in any of this complexs genes. We identified SSZ1 in genetic screens for cdc48-10 suppressors and show that it upregulates Cdc48p via the pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR) network. A pSSZ1 plasmid restored impaired ERAD-M of 6myc-Hmg2 in cdc48-10, ufd1-2, and npl4-1, while SSZ1 deletion had no effect. Ssz1p activates Pdr1p, the PDR master regulator. Indeed, plasmids of PDR1 or its target gene RPN4 increased cdc48-10p levels and restored ERAD-M in cdc48-10. Rpn4p regulates transcription of proteasome subunits and CDC48, thus RPN4 deletion abolished ERAD. However, the diminished proteasome level in Deltarpn4 was sufficient for degrading a cytosolic substrate, whereas the impaired ERAD-M was the result of diminished Cdc48p and was restored by expression of pCDC48. The corrected ERAD-M in the hypomorphic strains of the Cdc48 partners ufd1-2 and npl4-1 by the pCDC48 plasmid, and in cdc48-10 cells by the pcdc48-10 plasmid, combined with the finding that neither pSSZ1 nor pcdc48-10 restored ERAD-L of CPY*-HA, support our conclusion that Ssz1p suppressing effects is brought about by upregulating Cdc48p.
p97/Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a member of the AAA-ATPase family involved in many cellular processes including cell division, intracellular trafficking and extraction of misfolded proteins in endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). It is a homohexamer with each subunit containing two tandem D1 and D2 ATPase domains and N- and C-terminal regions that function as adaptor protein binding domains. p97/VCP is directed to its many different functional pathways by associating with various adaptor proteins. The regulation of the recruitment of the adaptor proteins remains unclear. Two adaptor proteins, Ufd1/Npl4 and p47, which bind exclusively to the p97/VCP N-domain and direct p97/VCP to either ERAD-related processes or homotypic fusion of Golgi fragments, were studied here. Surface plasmon resonance biosensor-based assays allowed the study of binding kinetics in real time. In competition experiments, it was observed that in the presence of ATP, Ufd1/Npl4 was able to compete more effectively with p47 for binding to p97/VCP. By using non-hydrolysable ATP analogues and the hexameric truncated p97/N-D1 fragment, it was shown that binding rather than hydrolysis of ATP to the proximal D1 domain strengthened the Ufd1/Npl4 association with the N-domain, thus regulating the recruitment of either Ufd1/Npl4 or p47. This novel role of ATP and an assigned function to the D1 AAA-ATPase domain link the multiple functions of p97/VCP to the metabolic status of the cell.
Aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers and Huntingtons diseases, are characterized by accumulation of protein aggregates in distinct neuronal cells that eventually die. In Huntingtons disease, the protein huntingtin forms aggregates, and the age of disease onset is inversely correlated to the length of the proteins poly-glutamine tract. Using quantitative assays to estimate microscopically and capture biochemically protein aggregates, here we study in Saccharomyces cerevisiae aging-related aggregation of GFP-tagged, huntingtin-derived proteins with different polyQ lengths. We find that the short 25Q protein never aggregates whereas the long 103Q version always aggregates. However, the mid-size 47Q protein is soluble in young logarithmically growing yeast but aggregates as the yeast cells enter the stationary phase and age, allowing us to plot an "aggregation timeline". This aging-dependent aggregation was associated with increased cytotoxicity. We also show that two aging-related genes, SIR2 and HSF1, affect aggregation of the polyQ proteins. In ?sir2 strain the aging-dependent aggregation of the 47Q protein is aggravated, while overexpression of the transcription factor Hsf1 attenuates aggregation. Thus, the mid-size 47Q protein and our quantitative aggregation assays provide valuable tools to unravel the roles of genes and environmental conditions that affect aging-related aggregation.
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