The Mitochondrial Hsp90 TRAP1 and Alzheimer’s Disease

Françoise A. Dekker, Stefan G.D. Rüdiger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, characterised by intra- and extracellular protein aggregation. In AD, the cellular protein quality control (PQC) system is derailed and fails to prevent the formation of these aggregates. Especially the mitochondrial paralogue of the conserved Hsp90 chaperone class, tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1), is strongly downregulated in AD, more than other major PQC factors. Here, we review molecular mechanism and cellular function of TRAP1 and subsequently discuss possible links to AD. TRAP1 is an interesting paradigm for the Hsp90 family, as it chaperones proteins with vital cellular function, despite not being regulated by any of the co-chaperones that drive its cytosolic paralogues. TRAP1 encloses late folding intermediates in a non-active state. Thereby, it is involved in the assembly of the electron transport chain, and it favours the switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis. Another key function is that it ensures mitochondrial integrity by regulating the mitochondrial pore opening through Cyclophilin D. While it is still unclear whether TRAP1 itself is a driver or a passenger in AD, it might be a guide to identify key factors initiating neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697913
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021


  • mitochondria
  • molecular chaperones
  • neurodegeneration
  • protein aggregation
  • protein folding
  • protein quality control
  • proteostasis


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