BAG3 and BAG6 differentially affect the dynamics of stress granules by targeting distinct subsets of defective polypeptides released from ribosomes

Cell Stress Chaperones. 2020 Nov;25(6):1045-1058. doi: 10.1007/s12192-020-01141-w. Epub 2020 Jul 21.


Stress granules (SGs) are dynamic ribonucleoprotein granules induced by environmental stresses. They play an important role in the stress response by integrating mRNA stability, translation, and signaling pathways. Recent work has connected SG dysfunction to neurodegenerative diseases. In these diseases, SG dynamics are impaired because of mutations in SG proteins or protein quality control factors. Impaired SG dynamics and delayed SG dissolution have also been observed for SGs that accumulate misfolding-prone defective ribosomal products (DRiPs). DRiP accumulation inside SGs is controlled by a surveillance system referred to as granulostasis and encompasses the molecular chaperones VCP and the HSPB8-BAG3-HSP70 complex. BAG3 is a member of the BAG family of proteins, which includes five additional members. One of these proteins, BAG6, is functionally related to BAG3 and able to assist degradation of DRiPs. However, whether BAG6 is involved in granulostasis is unknown. We report that BAG6 is not recruited into SGs induced by different types of stress, nor does it affect SG dynamics. BAG6 also does not replace BAG3's function in SG granulostasis. We show that BAG3 and BAG6 target different subsets of DRiPs, and BAG3 binding to DRiPs is mediated by HSPB8 and HSP70. Our data support the idea that SGs are sensitive to BAG3-HSP70-bound DRiPs but not to BAG6-bound DRiPs. Additionally, only BAG3 is strongly upregulated in the stress recovery phase, when SGs dissolve. These data exclude a role for BAG6 in granulostasis and point to a more specialized function in the clearance of a specific subset of DRiPs.

Keywords: BAG proteins; Co-chaperones; Newly synthesized proteins; Protein clearance; Stress granule dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism*
  • Arsenites / toxicity
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / drug effects
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / drug effects
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological* / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Arsenites
  • BAG3 protein, human
  • BAG6 protein, human
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Peptides
  • arsenite