We would like to present the abstract of our keynote speaker – Ramunas Martin Vabulas – who is a Group Leader at the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt. He together with his coworkers are especially interested in possibilities to destabilize metastatic cell proteomes for therapeutic purposes.

Cells respond to protein misfolding and aggregation in the cytosol by adjusting gene transcription and a number of post-transcriptional processes. In parallel to functional reactions, cellular structure changes as well; however, the mechanisms underlying the early adaptation of cellular compartments to cytosolic protein misfolding are less clear. We showed that the mammalian ubiquitin ligase C-terminal Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP), if freed from chaperones during acute stress, can dock on cellular membranes thus performing a proteostasis sensor function. We reconstituted this process in vitro and found that mainly phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate enhance association of chaperone-free CHIP with liposomes. HSP70 and membranes competed for mutually exclusive binding to the tetratricopeptide repeat domain of CHIP. At new cellular locations, access to compartment-specific substrates would enable CHIP to participate in the reorganization of the respective organelles, as exemplified by the fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus (effector function).