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Different redox sensitivity of endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation clients suggests a novel role for disulphide bonds in secretory proteins

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To maintain proteostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), terminally misfolded secretory proteins must be recognized, partially unfolded, and dislocated to the cytosol for proteasomal destruction, in a complex process called ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Dislocation implies reduction of inter-chain disulphide bonds. When in its reduced form, protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) can act not only as a reductase but also as an unfoldase, preparing substrates for dislocation. PDI oxidation by Ero1 favours substrate release and transport across the ER membrane. Here we addressed the redox dependency of ERAD and found that DTT stimulates the dislocation of proteins with DTT-resistant disulphide bonds (i.e., orphan Ig-μ chains) but stabilizes a ribophorin mutant (Ri332) devoid of them. DTT promotes the association of Ri332, but not of Ig-µ, with PDI. This discrepancy may suggest that disulphide bonds in cargo proteins can be utilized to oxidize PDI, hence facilitating substrate detachment and degradation also in the absence of Ero1. Accordingly, Ero1 silencing retards Ri332 degradation, but has little if any effect on Ig-µ. Thus, some disulphides can increase the stability and simultaneously favour quality control of secretory proteins.
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Keywords: Ero1; PDI; dégradation protéique; endoplasmic reticulum; protein degradation; retro-translocation; réticulum endoplasmique; rétro-translocation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Genetics and Cell Biology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy. 2: Institut de Genomique Fonctionnelle, Montpellier, France.

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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