Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative condition in which abnormalities in protein homeostasis, or proteostasis, may lead to accumulation of the protein α-synuclein (α-syn). Mutations within or multiplications of the gene encoding α-syn are known to cause genetic forms of PD and polymorphisms in the gene are recently established risk factors for idiopathic PD. α-syn is a major component of Lewy bodies, the intracellular proteinaceous inclusions which are pathological hallmarks of most forms of PD. Recent evidence demonstrates that α-syn can self associate into soluble oligomeric species and implicates these α-syn oligomers in cell death. We have previously shown that carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP), a co-chaperone molecule with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, may reduce the levels of toxic α-syn oligomers. Here we demonstrate that α-syn is ubiquitinylated by CHIP both in vitro and in cells. We find that the products from ubiquitinylation by CHIP include both monoubiquitinylated and polyubiquitinylated forms of α-syn. We also demonstrate that CHIP and α-syn exist within a protein complex with the co-chaperone bcl-2-associated athanogene 5 (BAG5) in brain. The interaction of CHIP with BAG5 is mediated by Hsp70 which binds to the tetratricopeptide repeat domain of CHIP and the BAG domains of BAG5. The Hsp70-mediated association of BAG5 with CHIP results in inhibition of CHIP E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and subsequently reduces α-syn ubiquitinylation. Furthermore, we use a luciferase-based protein-fragment complementation assay of α-syn oligomerization to investigate regulation of α-syn oligomers by CHIP in living cells. We demonstrate that BAG5 mitigates the ability of CHIP to reduce α-syn oligomerization and that non-ubiquitinylated α-syn has an increased propensity for oligomerization. Thus, our results identify CHIP as an E3 ubiquitin ligase of α-syn and suggest a novel function for BAG5 as a modulator of CHIP E3 ubiquitin ligase activity with implications for CHIP-mediated regulation of α-syn oligomerization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)