The Cochaperone SGTA (Small Glutamine-Rich Tetratricopeptide Repeat-Containing Protein Alpha) Demonstrates Regulatory Specificity for the Androgen, Glucocorticoid and Progesterone Receptors
Steroid hormone receptors are ligand-dependent transcription factors that require the ordered assembly of multi-chaperone complexes for transcriptional activity. Although heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 and Hsp70 are key players in this process, multiple Hsp70 and Hsp90-associated cochaperones associate with receptor-chaperone complexes to regulate receptor folding and activation. Small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha (SGTA) was recently characterized as an Hsp70 and Hsp90-associated cochaperone that specifically regulates androgen receptor activity. However, the specificity of SGTA for additional members of the steroid hormone receptor superfamily and the mechanism by which SGTA regulates receptor activity remain unclear. Here we report that SGTA associates with and specifically regulates the androgen, glucocorticoid, and progesterone receptors, and has no effect on the mineralocorticoid and estrogen receptors in both yeast and mammalian cell-based reporter assays. In both systems, SGTA knockdown/deletion enhances receptor activity, whereas SGTA overexpression suppresses receptor activity. We demonstrate that SGTA binds directly to Hsp70 and Hsp90 in vitro with similar affinities, yet predominately precipitates with Hsp70 from cell lysates suggesting a role for SGTA in early, Hsp70-mediated folding. Furthermore, SGTA expression completely abrogates the regulation of receptor function by the 52 kDa FK506-binding protein (FKBP52), which acts at a later stage of the chaperone cycle. Taken together our data suggest a role for SGTA at distinct steps in the chaperone-dependent modulation of androgen, glucocorticoid and progesterone receptor activity.