Aggresome formation, a cellular response to misfolded protein aggregates, is linked to cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Previously we showed that Gag-v-ErbA (v-ErbA), a retroviral variant of the thyroid hormone receptor (TR alpha 1), accumulates in and sequesters TR alpha 1 into cytoplasmic foci. Here, we show that foci represent v-ErbA targeting to aggresomes. v-ErbA colocalizes with aggresomal markers, proteasomes, hsp70, HDAC6, and mitochondria. Foci have hallmark characteristics of aggresomes: formation is microtubule-dependent, accelerated by proteasome inhibitors, and they disrupt intermediate filaments. Proteasome-mediated degradation is critical for clearance of v-ErbA and T(3)-dependent TR alpha 1 clearance. Our studies highlight v-ErbA's complex mode of action: the oncoprotein is highly mobile and trafficks between the nucleus, cytoplasm, and aggresome, carrying out distinct activities within each compartment. Dynamic trafficking to aggresomes contributes to the dominant negative activity of v-ErbA and may be enhanced by the viral Gag sequence. These studies provide insight into novel modes of oncogenesis across multiple cellular compartments.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Bondzi, C., Brunner, A.M., Munyikwa, M.R., Connor, C.D., Simmons, A.N., Stephens, S.L., Belt, P.A., Roggero, V.R., Mavinakere, M.S., Hinton, S.D., Allison, L.A. (2011) Recruitment of the oncoprotein v-ErbA to aggresomes. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 332, 196- 212.