Hsp104 disaggregase at normal levels cures many [PSI+] prion variants in a process promoted by Sti1p, Hsp90, and Sis1p [Genetics]
Overproduction or deficiency of many chaperones and other cellular components cure the yeast prions [PSI+] (formed by Sup35p) or [URE3] (based on Ure2p). However, at normal expression levels, Btn2p and Cur1p eliminate most newly arising [URE3] variants but do not cure [PSI+], even after overexpression. Deficiency or overproduction of Hsp104 cures the [PSI+] prion. Hsp104 deficiency curing is a result of failure to cleave the Sup35p amyloid filaments to make new seeds, whereas Hsp104 overproduction curing occurs by a different mechanism. Hsp104(T160M) can propagate [PSI+], but cannot cure it by overproduction, thus separating filament cleavage from curing activities. Here we show that most [PSI+] variants arising spontaneously in an hsp104(T160M) strain are cured by restoration of just normal levels of the WT Hsp104. Both strong and weak [PSI+] variants are among those cured by this process. This normal-level Hsp104 curing is promoted by Sti1p, Hsp90, and Sis1p, proteins previously implicated in the Hsp104 overproduction curing of [PSI+]. The [PSI+] prion arises in hsp104(T160M) cells at more than 10-fold the frequency in WT cells. The curing activity of Hsp104 thus constitutes an antiprion system, culling many variants of the [PSI+] prion at normal Hsp104 levels.
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