Chaperones directly and efficiently disperse stress-triggered biomolecular condensates

Yoo H, Bard JAM, Pilipenko E, Drummond DA, Molecular Cell 82 (4) :741–755 (2022).


Stresses such as heat shock trigger the formation of protein aggregates and the induction of a disaggregation system composed of molecular chaperones. Recent work reveals that several cases of apparent heat- induced aggregation, long thought to be the result of toxic misfolding, instead reflect evolved, adaptive biomolecular condensation, with chaperone activity contributing to condensate regulation. Here we show that the yeast disaggregation system directly disperses heat-induced biomolecular condensates of endogenous poly(A)-binding protein (Pab1) orders of magnitude more rapidly than aggregates of the most commonly used misfolded model substrate, firefly luciferase. Beyond its efficiency, heat-induced condensate dispersal differs from heat-induced aggregate dispersal in its molecular requirements and mechanistic behavior. Our work establishes a bona fide endogenous heat-induced substrate for long-studied heat shock proteins, isolates a specific example of chaperone regulation of condensates, and underscores needed expansion of the proteotoxic interpretation of the heat shock response to encompass adaptive, chaperone-mediated regulation.