Heat shock protein 90 is an essential molecular chaperone for nuclear transport of glucocorticoid receptor β

Xinyu Zhang, Abbot F. Clark, Thomas Yorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Glucocorticoid sensitivity in glaucoma has been attributed to differences in the expression of the two glucocorticoid receptors, GRα and GRβ. GRα undergoes steroid-dependent nuclear translocation by associating with a heat shock protein (Hsp)90 multiprotein heterocomplex. The nuclear transport of the non-ligand-binding GRβ is still unknown. In this study, the roles of Hsp90 in the nuclear transport of GRβ were investigated. METHODS. Immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis were performed to detect the subcellular expression of GRβ and Hsp90 in normal and glaucomatous trabecular meshwork (TM) cells, as well as in TM cells overexpressing GRβ. The role of Hsp90 in GRβ transport and stability were determined with the Hsp90 inhibitor, 17-AAG and the proteasome inhibitor lactacystin. Coimmunoprecipitation was performed to study GRβ-Hsp90 complexes. RESULTS. In normal and glaucomatous TM cells, the nuclear concentration of Hsp90 correlates with the nuclear expression of GRβ. Transfection with a GRβ expression construct produces an overexpression and accumulation of GRβ in the nucleus with a corresponding increase in nuclear Hsp90 amount. 17-AAG, a specific Hsp90 inhibitor, completely blocks the nuclear accumulation of GRβ and consequently leads to the degradation of GRβ in proteasomes. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments verify that GRβ complexes with Hsp90 and the microtubule motor protein dynein. CONCLUSIONS. These data provide strong evidence that Hsp90 is an essential molecular chaperone for the nuclear transport of GRβ. This transport appears to occur along micotubular tracks. Because nuclear GRβ is important in regulating the glucocorticoid responsiveness, changes in GRβ nuclear transport could influence subsequent responses that are often seen clinically, such as glucocorticoid resistance in some inflammatory and autoimmune diseases or enhanced glucocorticoid sensitivity in glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-708
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Heat shock protein 90 is an essential molecular chaperone for nuclear transport of glucocorticoid receptor β'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this