The Journal of biological chemistry

The stability of the small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein (snoRNP) assembly protein Pih1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is modulated by its C terminus.

PMID 23139418


Pih1 is an unstable protein and a subunit of the R2TP complex that, in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also contains the helicases Rvb1, Rvb2, and the Hsp90 cofactor Tah1. Pih1 and the R2TP complex are required for the box C/D small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein (snoRNP) assembly and ribosomal RNA processing. Purified Pih1 tends to aggregate in vitro. Molecular chaperone Hsp90 and its cochaperone Tah1 are required for the stability of Pih1 in vivo. We had shown earlier that the C terminus of Pih1 destabilizes the protein and that the C terminus of Tah1 binds to the Pih1 C terminus to form a stable complex. Here, we analyzed the secondary structure of the Pih1 C terminus and identified two intrinsically disordered regions and five hydrophobic clusters. Site-directed mutagenesis indicated that one predicted intrinsically disordered region IDR2 is involved in Tah1 binding, and that the C terminus of Pih1 contains multiple destabilization or degron elements. Additionally, the Pih1 N-terminal domain, Pih1(1-230), was found to be able to complement the physiological role of full-length Pih1 at 37 °C. Pih1(1-230) as well as a shorter Pih1 N-terminal fragment Pih1(1-195) is able to bind Rvb1/Rvb2 heterocomplex. However, the sequence between the two disordered regions in Pih1 significantly enhances the Pih1 N-terminal domain binding to Rvb1/Rvb2. Based on these data, a model of protein-protein interactions within the R2TP complex is proposed.