Cellular toxicity introduced by protein misfolding threatens cell fitness and viability. Failure to eliminate these polypeptides is associated with numerous aggregation diseases. Several protein quality control mechanisms degrade non-native proteins by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Here, we use quantitative mass spectrometry to demonstrate that heat-shock triggers a large increase in the level of ubiquitylation associated with misfolding of cytosolic proteins. We discover that the Hul5 HECT ubiquitin ligase participates in this heat-shock stress response. Hul5 is required to maintain cell fitness after heat-shock and to degrade short-lived misfolded proteins. In addition, localization of Hul5 in the cytoplasm is important for its quality control function. We identify potential Hul5 substrates in heat-shock and physiological conditions to reveal that Hul5 is required for ubiquitylation of low-solubility cytosolic proteins including the Pin3 prion-like protein. These findings indicate that Hul5 is involved in a cytosolic protein quality control pathway that targets misfolded proteins for degradation.
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