Cell stress & chaperones

C-terminus of heat shock protein 70-interacting protein facilitates degradation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 and inhibits apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1-dependent apoptosis.

PMID 16038411


Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that is regulated under conditions of cellular stress. ASK1 phosphorylates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and elicits an apoptotic response. ASK1 activity is regulated at multiple levels, 1 of which is through inhibition by cytosolic chaperones of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 family. Among the proteins that determine Hsp70 function, CHIP (C-terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein) is a cochaperone and ubiquitin ligase that interacts with Hsp70 through an amino-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain. Prominent among the cellular functions mediated by CHIP is protection against physiologic stress. Because ASK1 is known to contain a TPR-acceptor site, we examined the role of CHIP in regulating ASK1 function. CHIP interacted with ASK1 in a TPR-dependent fashion and induced ubiquitylation and proteasome-dependent degradation of ASK1. Targeting of ASK1 by CHIP inhibited JNK activation in response to oxidative challenge and reduced ASK1-dependent apoptosis, whereas short interfering RNA (siRNA)-dependent depletion of CHIP enhanced JNK activation. Consistent with its ability to reduce cytoplasmic ASK1 levels, CHIP triggered the translocation of ASK1 partner protein death-associated protein (Daxx) into the nucleus, where it is known to activate an antiapoptotic response. These results indicate that CHIP regulates ASK1 activity by inducing its ubiquitylation and degradation, which, together with its effects on Daxx localization, provides a mechanism for the antiapoptotic effects of CHIP observed in the face of cellular and physiologic stress.