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BAG family molecular chaperone regulator 2 (BAG-2) (Bcl-2-associated athanogene 2)


BAG2 Interferes with CHIP-Mediated Ubiquitination of HSP72.

The maintenance of cellular proteostasis is dependent on molecular chaperones and protein degradation pathways. Chaperones facilitate protein folding, maturation, and degradation, and the particular fate of a misfolded protein is determined by the interaction of chaperones with co-chaperones. The co-factor CHIP (C-terminus of HSP70-inteacting protein, STUB1) ubiquitinates chaperone substrates and directs proteins to the cellular degradation systems. The activity of CHIP is regulated by two co-chaperones, BAG2 and HSPBP1, which are potent inhibitors of the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Here, we examined the functional correlation of HSP72, CHIP, and BAG2, employing human primary fibroblasts. We showed that HSP72 is a substrate of CHIP and that BAG2 efficiently prevented the ubiquitination of HSP72 in young cells as well as aged cells. Aging is associated with a decline in proteostasis and we observed increased protein levels of CHIP as well as BAG2 in senescent cells. Interestingly, the ubiquitination of HSP72 was strongly reduced during aging, which revealed that BAG2 functionally counteracted the increased levels of CHIP. Interestingly, HSPBP1 protein levels were down-regulated during aging. The data presented here demonstrates that the co-chaperone BAG2 influences HSP72 protein levels and is an important modulator of the ubiquitination activity of CHIP in young as well as aged cells.

MeSH Terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cellular Senescence
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • RNA Interference
  • Time Factors
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Ubiquitination


  • BAG2
  • CHIP
  • HSP72
  • aging
  • proteostasis
  • ubiquitination

Plasticity of the neoplastic phenotype in vivo is regulated by epigenetic factors.

Age of host and transplantation-site microenvironment influence the tumorigenic potential of neoplastically transformed liver epithelial cells. Tumorigenic BAG2-GN6TF rat liver epithelial cells consistently form tumors at ectopic sites, but differentially express tumorigenicity or hepatocytic differentiation in the liver depending on host age and route of cell transplantation into the liver. Direct inoculation into host livers concentrates tumor cells locally, resulting in undifferentiated tumors near the transplantation site in both young (3-month-old) and old (18-month-old) rats. Transplantation-site tumors regress within 1 month in the livers of young rats, but grow progressively in old rats. However, inoculation of cells into the spleen distributes transplanted cells individually throughout the liver, resulting in hepatocytic differentiation by tumor cells with concomitant suppression of their tumorigenicity in young rats. When transplanted into livers of old rats by splenic inoculation, or when young hepatic-transplant recipients are allowed to age, hepatocytic progeny of BAG2-GN6TF cells proliferate to form foci, suggesting that the liver microenvironment of old rats incompletely regulates the proliferation and differentiation of tumor cell-derived hepatocytes. Upon removal from the liver, BAG2-GN6TF-derived hepatocytes revert to an undifferentiated, aggressively tumorigenic phenotype. We posit that the spectrum between normal differentiation and malignant potential of these cells reflects the dynamic interaction of the specific transformation-related genotype of the cells and the characteristics of the tissue microenvironment at the transplantation site. Changes in the tissue milieu, such as those that accompany normal aging, may determine the ability of a genetically aberrant cell to produce a tumor.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Liver
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344