Global proteomic analyses define an environmentally contingent Hsp90 interactome and reveal chaperone-dependent regulation of stress granule proteins and the R2TP complex in a fungal pathogen

PLoS Biol. 2019 Jul 8;17(7):e3000358. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000358. eCollection 2019 Jul.


Hsp90 is a conserved molecular chaperone that assists in the folding and function of diverse cellular regulators, with a profound impact on biology, disease, and evolution. As a central hub of protein interaction networks, Hsp90 engages with hundreds of protein-protein interactions within eukaryotic cells. These interactions include client proteins, which physically interact with Hsp90 and depend on the chaperone for stability or function, as well as co-chaperones and partner proteins that modulate chaperone function. Currently, there are no methods to accurately predict Hsp90 interactors and there has been considerable network rewiring over evolutionary time, necessitating experimental approaches to define the Hsp90 network in the species of interest. This is a pressing challenge for fungal pathogens, for which Hsp90 is a key regulator of stress tolerance, drug resistance, and virulence traits. To address this challenge, we applied a novel biochemical fractionation and quantitative proteomic approach to examine alterations to the proteome upon perturbation of Hsp90 in a leading human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans. In parallel, we performed affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry to define physical interacting partners for Hsp90 and the Hsp90 co-chaperones and identified 164 Hsp90-interacting proteins, including 111 that are specific to the pathogen. We performed the first analysis of the Hsp90 interactome upon antifungal drug stress and demonstrated that Hsp90 stabilizes processing body (P-body) and stress granule proteins that contribute to drug tolerance. We also describe novel roles for Hsp90 in regulating posttranslational modification of the Rvb1-Rvb2-Tah1-Pih1 (R2TP) complex and the formation of protein aggregates in response to thermal stress. This study provides a global view of the Hsp90 interactome in a fungal pathogen, demonstrates the dynamic role of Hsp90 in response to environmental perturbations, and highlights a novel connection between Hsp90 and the regulation of mRNA-associated protein granules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / metabolism*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Fungal Proteins
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Proteome
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins