BAG6 prevents the aggregation of neurodegeneration-associated fragments of TDP43
Neurodegeneration is associated with the aggregation of proteins bearing solvent-exposed hydrophobicity as a result of their misfolding and/or proteolytic cleavage. An understanding of the cellular protein quality control mechanisms which prevent protein aggregation is fundamental to understanding the etiology of neurodegeneration. By examining the metabolism of disease-linked C-terminal fragments of the TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43), we found that the Bcl-2 associated athanogene 6 (BAG6) functions as a sensor of proteolytic fragments bearing exposed hydrophobicity and prevents their intracellular aggregation. In addition, BAG6 facilitates the ubiquitylation of TDP43 fragments by recruiting the Ub-ligase, Ring finger protein 126 (RNF126). Authenticating its role in preventing aggregation, we found that TDP43 fragments form intracellular aggregates in the absence of BAG6. Finally, we found that BAG6 could interact with and solubilize additional neurodegeneration-associated proteolytic fragments. Therefore, BAG6 plays a general role in preventing intracellular aggregation associated with neurodegeneration.