Validation of the Hsp70-Bag3 protein-protein interaction as a potential therapeutic target in cancer.
ABSTRACT: Hsp70 is a stress-inducible molecular chaperone that is required for cancer development at several steps. Targeting the active site of Hsp70 has proven relatively challenging, driving interest in alternative approaches. Hsp70 collaborates with the Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (Bag3) to promote cell survival through multiple pathways, including FoxM1. Therefore, inhibitors of the Hsp70-Bag3 protein-protein interaction (PPI) may provide a noncanonical way to target this chaperone. We report that JG-98, an allosteric inhibitor of this PPI, indeed has antiproliferative activity (EC50 values between 0.3 and 4 ?mol/L) across cancer cell lines from multiple origins. JG-98 destabilized FoxM1 and relieved suppression of downstream effectors, including p21 and p27. On the basis of these findings, JG-98 was evaluated in mice for pharmacokinetics, tolerability, and activity in two xenograft models. The results suggested that the Hsp70-Bag3 interaction may be a promising, new target for anticancer therapy.
Project description:Hsp70 is a promising anti-cancer target. Our JG-98 series of Hsp70 inhibitors show anti-cancer activities affecting both cancer cells and tumor-associated macrophages. They disrupt Hsp70 interaction with a co-chaperone Bag3 and affect signaling pathways important for cancer development. Due to a prior report that depletion of Hsp70 causes similar responses as depletion of Hsp90, interest to Hsp70 inhibitors as drug prototypes is hampered by potential similarity of their effects to effects of Hsp90 inhibitors. Here, using the Connectivity Map platform we demonstrate that physiological effects of JG-98 are dissimilar from effects of Hsp90 inhibitors, thus justifying development of these compounds. Using gene expression and ActivSignal IPAD platform, we identified pathways modulated by JG-98. Some of these pathways were affected by JG-98 in Bag3-dependent (e.g. ERK) and some in Bag3-independent manner (e.g. Akt or c-myc), indicating multiple effects of Hsp70 inhibition. Further, we identified genes that modulate cellular responses to JG-98, developed approaches to predict potent combinations of JG-98 with known drugs, and demonstrated that inhibitors of proteasome, RNApol, Akt and RTK synergize with JG-98. Overall, here we established unique effects of novel Hsp70 inhibitors on cancer cell physiology, and predicted potential drug combinations for pre-clinical development.
Project description:Bcl-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is a member of a conserved family of cyto-protective proteins that bind to and regulate Hsp70 family molecular chaperones. Here, we show that BAG3 is prominently expressed in striated muscle and colocalizes with Z-disks. Mice with homozygous disruption of the bag3 gene developed normally but deteriorated postnatally with stunted growth evident by 1 to 2 weeks of age and death by 4 weeks. BAG3-deficient animals developed a fulminant myopathy characterized by noninflammatory myofibrillar degeneration with apoptotic features. Knockdown of bag3 expression in cultured C2C12 myoblasts increased apoptosis on induction of differentiation, suggesting a need for bag3 for maintenance of myotube survival and confirming a cell autonomous role for bag3 in muscle. We conclude that although BAG3 is not required for muscle development, this co-chaperone appears to be critically important for maintenance of mature skeletal muscle.
Project description:Hsp70 inhibition affects many signaling pathways. We established how these effects are translated into changes in gene expression. Hsp70 is a promising anti-cancer target, and several inhibitors of Hsp70 have been recently developed. Interest to Hsp70 inhibitors as drug prototypes is, however, somewhat hampered by potential similarity of their physiological effects to effects of already well-developed Hsp90 inhibitors. JG-98 series of inhibitors is unique in its ability to target an allosteric site in the ATPase domain of Hsp70, which disrupts its interaction with a co-chaperone Bag3 and affects a variety of signaling pathways important for cancer development and survival. Here, we used the Broad Institute Connectivity Map platform to evaluate physiological effects of JG-98, and found that these effects are dissimilar from effects of Hsp90 inhibitors, thus justifying further development of this compound series. Further, using gene expression data and ActivSignal IPAD platform, we identified pathways modulated by JG-98. Some of these pathways were affected by JG-98 in Bag3-dependent and some pathways in Bag3-independent manner, indicating multiple mechanisms of JG-98 action. Using pooled shRNA genetic screen, we established gene sets that modulate the response of cancer cells to JG-98. Based on genetic and gene expression information, we developed approaches to predict potent combinations of JG-98 with known drugs. These predictions were validated by demonstrating that proteasome, RNApol II, Akt and RTK inhibitors synergize with anti-cancer effects of JG-98. Overall, in this study we analyze unique effects of Hsp70 inhibitors of JG-98 series on cell physiology and define potential drug combinations for clinical use of these inhibitors. Overall design: MCF7 cells were treated with 2 micromoles of JG-98 for 24 hours or left untreated and mRNA levels were assessed by microarrays.
Project description:Atherosclerosis is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that causes severe cardiovascular events. B cell lymphoma 2-associated athanogene (BAG3) was proven to participate in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiac diseases, but its role in atherosclerosis remains unclear. Here, we aim to investigate the role of BAG3 in atherosclerosis and elucidate the potential molecular mechanism. In this study, ApoE<sup>-/-</sup> mice were given a tail-vein injection of BAG3-overexpressing lentivirus and fed a 12-week high-fat diet (HFD) to investigate the role of BAG3 in atherosclerosis. The overexpression of BAG3 reduced plaque areas and improved atherosclerosis in ApoE<sup>-/-</sup> mice. Our research proves that BAG3 promotes autophagy in vitro, contributing to the suppression of EndMT in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Mechanically, autophagy activation is mediated by BAG3 via the interaction between BAG3 and its chaperones HSP70 and HSPB8. In conclusion, BAG3 facilitates autophagy activation via the formation of the chaperone-assisted selective autophagy (CASA) complex interacting with HSP70 and HSPB8, leading to the inhibition of EndMT during the progression of atherosclerosis and indicating that BAG3 is a potential therapeutic target for atherosclerosis.
Project description:The multifunctional HSP70 co-chaperone BAG3 (BCL-2-associated athanogene 3) represents a key player in the quality control of the cellular proteostasis network. In response to stress, BAG3 specifically targets aggregation-prone proteins to the perinuclear aggresome and promotes their degradation via BAG3-mediated selective macroautophagy. To adapt cellular homeostasis to stress, BAG3 modulates and functions in various cellular processes and signaling pathways. Noteworthy, dysfunction and deregulation of BAG3 and its pathway are pathophysiologically linked to myopathies, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we report a BAG3 proteomic signature under proteostasis stress. To elucidate the dynamic and multifunctional action of BAG3 in response to stress, we established BAG3 interactomes under basal and proteostasis stress conditions by employing affinity purification combined with quantitative mass spectrometry. In addition to the identification of novel potential BAG3 interactors, we defined proteins whose interaction with BAG3 was altered upon stress. By functional annotation and protein-protein interaction enrichment analysis of the identified potential BAG3 interactors, we confirmed the multifunctionality of BAG3 and highlighted its crucial role in diverse cellular signaling pathways and processes, ensuring cellular proteostasis and cell viability. These include protein folding and degradation, gene expression, cytoskeleton dynamics (including cell cycle and transport), as well as granulostasis, in particular.
Project description:Emerging lines of evidence have shown that blockade of ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) activates autophagy. The molecular players that regulate the relationship between them remain to be elucidated. Bcl-2 associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is a member of the BAG co-chaperone family that regulates the ATPase activity of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) chaperone family. Studies on BAG3 have demonstrated that it plays multiple roles in physiological and pathological processes, including antiapoptotic activity, signal transduction, regulatory role in virus infection, cell adhesion and migration. Recent studies have attracted much attention on its role in initiation of autophagy. The current study, for the first time, demonstrates that proteasome inhibitors elicit noncanonical autophagy, which was not suppressed by inhibitors of class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K) or shRNA against Beclin 1 (BECN1). In addition, we demonstrate that BAG3 is ascribed to activation of autophagy elicited by proteasome inhibitors and MAPK8/9/10 (also known as JNK1/2/3 respectively) activation is also implicated via upregulation of BAG3. Moreover, we found that noncanonical autophagy mediated by BAG3 suppresses responsiveness of HepG2 cells to proteasome inhibitors.
Project description:Increasing evidence indicates the existence of selective autophagy pathways, but the manner in which substrates are recognized and targeted to the autophagy system is poorly understood. One strategy is transport of a particular substrate to the aggresome, a perinuclear compartment with high autophagic activity. In this paper, we identify a new cellular pathway that uses the specificity of heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) to misfolded proteins as the basis for aggresome-targeting and autophagic degradation. This pathway is regulated by the stress-induced co-chaperone Bcl-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3), which interacts with the microtubule-motor dynein and selectively directs Hsp70 substrates to the motor and thereby to the aggresome. Notably, aggresome-targeting by BAG3 is distinct from previously described mechanisms, as it does not depend on substrate ubiquitination.
Project description:Defective protein quality control (PQC) systems are implicated in multiple diseases. Molecular chaperones and co-chaperones play a central role in functioning PQC. Constant mechanical and metabolic stress in cardiomyocytes places great demand on the PQC system. Mutation and downregulation of the co-chaperone protein BCL-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) are associated with cardiac myopathy and heart failure, and a BAG3 E455K mutation leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, the role of BAG3 in the heart and the mechanisms by which the E455K mutation leads to DCM remain obscure. Here, we found that cardiac-specific Bag3-KO and E455K-knockin mice developed DCM. Comparable phenotypes in the 2 mutants demonstrated that the E455K mutation resulted in loss of function. Further experiments revealed that the E455K mutation disrupted the interaction between BAG3 and HSP70. In both mutants, decreased levels of small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) were observed, and a subset of proteins required for cardiomyocyte function was enriched in the insoluble fraction. Together, these observations suggest that interaction between BAG3 and HSP70 is essential for BAG3 to stabilize sHSPs and maintain cardiomyocyte protein homeostasis. Our results provide insight into heart failure caused by defects in BAG3 pathways and suggest that increasing BAG3 protein levels may be of therapeutic benefit in heart failure.
Project description:Protein abnormalities in cells are the cause of major pathologies, and a number of adaptive responses have evolved to relieve the toxicity of misfolded polypeptides. To trigger these responses, cells must detect the buildup of aberrant proteins which often associate with proteasome failure, but the sensing mechanism is poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that this mechanism involves the heat shock protein 70-Bcl-2-associated athanogene 3 (Hsp70-Bag3) complex, which upon proteasome suppression responds to the accumulation of defective ribosomal products, preferentially recognizing the stalled polypeptides. Components of the ribosome quality control system LTN1 and VCP and the ribosome-associated chaperone NAC are necessary for the interaction of these species with the Hsp70-Bag3 complex. This complex regulates important signaling pathways, including the Hippo pathway effectors LATS1/2 and the p38 and JNK stress kinases. Furthermore, under proteotoxic stress Hsp70-Bag3-LATS1/2 signaling regulates protein aggregation. We established that the regulated step was the emergence and growth of abnormal protein oligomers containing only a few molecules, indicating that aggregation is regulated at very early stages. The Hsp70-Bag3 complex therefore functions as an important signaling node that senses proteotoxicity and triggers multiple pathways that control cell physiology, including activation of protein aggregation.
Project description:Three missense mutations targeting the same proline 209 (Pro209) codon in the co-chaperone Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) have been reported to cause distal myopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 neuropathy. Yet, it is unclear whether distinct molecular mechanisms underlie the variable clinical spectrum of the rare patients carrying these three heterozygous Pro209 mutations in BAG3. Here, we studied all three variants and compared them to the BAG3_Glu455Lys mutant, which causes dilated cardiomyopathy. We found that all BAG3_Pro209 mutants have acquired a toxic gain-of-function, which causes these variants to accumulate in the form of insoluble HDAC6- and vimentin-positive aggresomes. The aggresomes formed by mutant BAG3 led to a relocation of other chaperones such as HSPB8 and Hsp70, which, together with BAG3, promote the so-called chaperone-assisted selective autophagy (CASA). As a consequence of their increased aggregation-proneness, mutant BAG3 trapped ubiquitinylated client proteins at the aggresome, preventing their efficient clearance. Combined, these data show that all BAG3_Pro209 mutants, irrespective of their different clinical phenotypes, are characterized by a gain-of-function that contributes to the gradual loss of protein homeostasis.