Background: Aggresomes are juxtanuclear inclusion bodies that have been proposed to represent a general cellular response to misfolded proteins in mammalian cells. Yet, why aggresomes are not a pathological characteristic of protein misfolding diseases is unclear. Here, we investigate if a misfolded protein inevitably forms aggresomes in mammalian cells.
Results: We show that a cytoplasmic form of the prion protein may form aggresomes or dispersed aggregates in different cell lines. In contrast to aggresomes, the formation of dispersed aggregates is insensitive to histone deacetylase 6 inhibitors and does not result in cytoskeleton rearrangements. Modulation of expression levels or proteasome inhibitors does not alter the formation of dispersed aggregates.
Conclusion: Our results establish that aggresomes are not obligatory products of protein misfolding in vivo.