PloS one

A chaperone trap contributes to the onset of cystic fibrosis.

PMID 22701530


Protein folding is the primary role of proteostasis network (PN) where chaperone interactions with client proteins determine the success or failure of the folding reaction in the cell. We now address how the Phe508 deletion in the NBD1 domain of the cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF) impacts the binding of CFTR with cellular chaperones. We applied single ion reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SRM-MS) to quantitatively characterize the stoichiometry of the heat shock proteins (Hsps) in CFTR folding intermediates in vivo and mapped the sites of interaction of the NBD1 domain of CFTR with Hsp90 in vitro. Unlike folding of WT-CFTR, we now demonstrate the presence of ΔF508-CFTR in a stalled folding intermediate in stoichiometric association with the core Hsps 40, 70 and 90, referred to as a 'chaperone trap'. Culturing cells at 30 C resulted in correction of ΔF508-CFTR trafficking and function, restoring the sub-stoichiometric association of core Hsps observed for WT-CFTR. These results support the interpretation that ΔF508-CFTR is restricted to a chaperone-bound folding intermediate, a state that may contribute to its loss of trafficking and increased targeting for degradation. We propose that stalled folding intermediates could define a critical proteostasis pathway branch-point(s) responsible for the loss of function in misfolding diseases as observed in CF.