The intracellular accumulation of aggregated misfolded proteins is a cytopathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the functional relationship between protein misfolding or aggregation and the cellular proteostasis network that monitors and maintains proteome health is poorly understood. Previous studies have associated translational suppression and transcriptional remodeling with the appearance of protein aggregates, but whether these responses are induced by aggregates or their misfolded monomeric or oligomeric precursors remains unclear. Because aggregation in cells is rapid, nonlinear, and asynchronous, it has not been possible to deconvolve these kinetically linked processes to determine the earliest cellular responses to misfolded proteins. Upon removal of the synthetic, biologically inert ligand shield-1 (S1), AgDD, an engineered variant FK506-binding protein (FKBP1A), rapidly (t ½ ∼5 min) unfolds and self-associates, forming detergent-insoluble, microscopic cytoplasmic aggregates. Using global diglycine-capture (K-GG) proteomics, we found here that this solubility transition is associated with immediate increases in ubiquitylation of AgDD itself, along with that of endogenous proteins that are components of the ribosome and the 26S proteasome. We also found that the earliest cellular responses to acute S1 removal include recruitment of ubiquitin protein ligase E3C (UBE3C) to the 26S proteasome and ubiquitylation of two key proteasomal ubiquitin receptors, 26S proteasome regulatory subunit RPN10 (RPN10) and Rpn13 homolog (RPN13 or ADRM1). We conclude that these proteasomal responses are due to AgDD protein misfolding and not to the presence of detergent-insoluble aggregates.
Keywords: ADRM1; E3 ubiquitin ligase; RPN13; UBE3C; proteasome; protein aggregation; protein misfolding; ubiquitin.
© 2019 Gottlieb et al.