J Proteomics.: auth.: PAF

J Proteomics. 2015 Mar 14. pii: S1874-3919(15)00088-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2015.02.020. [Epub ahead of print]

Hsp90 inhibition induces both protein-specific and global changes in the ubiquitinome.


Inhibition of the essential chaperone Hsp90 with drugs causes a global perturbation of protein folding and the depletion of direct substrates of Hsp90, also called clients. Ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation play a key role in cellular stress responses, but the impact of Hsp90 inhibition on the ubiquitinome has not been characterized on a global scale. We used stable isotope labeling and antibody-based peptide enrichment to quantify more than 1500 protein sites modified with a Gly-Gly motif, the remnant of ubiquitination, in human T-cells treated with an Hsp90 inhibitor. We observed rapid changes in GlyGly-modification sites, with strong increases for some Hsp90 clients but also decreases for a majority of cellular proteins. A comparison with changes in total protein levels and protein synthesis and decay rates from a previous study revealed a complex picture with different regulatory patterns observed for different protein families. Overall the data support the notion that for Hsp90 clients GlyGly-modification correlates with targeting by the ubiquitin-proteasome system and decay, while for other proteins levels of GlyGly-modification appear to be mainly influenced by their synthesis rates. Therefore a correct interpretation of changes in ubiquitination requires knowledge of multiple parameters. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001549.


Proteostasis, i.e. the capacity of the cell to maintain proper synthesis and maturation of proteins, is a fundamental biological process and its perturbations have far-reaching medical implications e.g. in cancer or neurodegenerative diseases. Hsp90 is an essential chaperone responsible for the correct maturation and stability of a number of key proteins. Inhibition of Hsp90 triggers a global stress response caused by accumulation of misfolded chains, which have to be either refolded or eliminated by protein degradation pathways such as the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS). We present the first global assessment of the changes in the ubiquitinome, the subset of ubiquitin-modified proteins, following Hsp90 inhibition in human T-cells. The results provide clues on how cells respond to a specific proteostasis challenge. Furthermore, our data also suggest that basal ubiquitination levels for most proteins are influenced by synthesis rates. This has broad significance as it implies that a proper interpretation of data on ubiquitination levels necessitates simultaneous knowledge of other parameters.

Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Chaperone; Hsp90; Mass spectrometry; Quantitation; Stress response; Ubiquitin

PMID: 25782750