The small heat shock proteins αB-crystallin (HSPB5) and Hsp27 (HSPB1) inhibit the intracellular aggregation of α-synuclein
Recombinant chimeras of small heat shock proteins (sHsp) HspB1, HspB5, and HspB6 containing enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) attached to their C-terminal ends were constructed and purified. Some properties of these chimeras were compared with the corresponding properties of the same chimeras containing EYFP attached to the N-terminal end of sHsp. The C-terminal fluorescent chimeras of HspB1 and HspB5 tend to aggregate and form a heterogeneous mixture of oligomers. The apparent molecular weight of the largest C-terminal chimeric oligomers was higher than that of the corresponding N-terminal chimeras or of the wild-type proteins; however, both homooligomers of N-terminal chimeras and homooligomers of C-terminal chimeras contained fewer subunits than the wild-type HspB1 or HspB5. Both N-terminal and C-terminal chimeras of HspB6 form small oligomers with an apparent molecular weight of 73–84 kDa. The C-terminal chimeras exchange their subunits with homologous wild-type proteins. Heterooligomers formed by the wild-type HspB1 (or HspB5) and the C-terminal chimeras of HspB6 differ in size and composition from heterooligomers formed by the corresponding wild-type proteins. As a rule, the N-terminal chimeras possess similar or slightly higher chaperone-like activity than the corresponding wild-type proteins, whereas the C-terminal chimeras always have a lower chaperone-like activity than the wild-type proteins. It is concluded that attachment of EYFP to either N-terminal or C-terminal ends of sHsp affects their oligomeric structure, their ability to form heterooligomers, and their chaperone-like activity. Therefore, the data obtained with fluorescent chimeras of sHsp expressed in the cell should be interpreted with caution.