Acetylation of the yeast Hsp40 chaperone protein Ydj1 fine-tunes proteostasis and translational fidelity

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Proteostasis, the maintenance of cellular protein balance, is essential for cell viability and is highly conserved across all organisms. Newly synthesized proteins, or “clients,” undergo sequential processing by Hsp40, Hsp70, and Hsp90 chaperones to achieve proper folding and functionality. Despite extensive characterization of post-translational modifications (PTMs) on Hsp70 and Hsp90, the modifications on Hsp40 remain less understood. This study aims to elucidate the role of lysine acetylation on the yeast Hsp40, Ydj1. By mutating acetylation sites on Ydj1’s J-domain to either abolish or mimic constitutive acetylation, we observed that preventing acetylation had no noticeable phenotypic impact, whereas acetyl-mimic mutants exhibited various defects indicative of impaired Ydj1 function. Proteomic analysis revealed several Ydj1 interactions affected by J-domain acetylation, notably with proteins involved in translation. Further investigation uncovered a novel role for Ydj1 acetylation in stabilizing ribosomal subunits and ensuring translational fidelity. Our data suggest that acetylation may facilitate the transfer of Ydj1 between Ssa1 and Hsp82. Collectively, this work highlights the critical role of Ydj1 acetylation in proteostasis and translational fidelity.

Author Summary

Cells require a suite of chaperone and co-chaperone proteins to maintain a healthy balance of functional proteins. A large number of modifications on chaperone and co-chaperone proteins have been identified, but their functional importance has not been fully explored. In this study, we identify acetylation sites on the yeast co-chaperone Ydj1 that impact its interactions with major chaperones and client proteins including those involved in protein synthesis. This work sheds light on how modifications on co-chaperones can also play an important role in the health of the proteome.

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