Sequential Actions of VCP/p97 and the Proteasome 19S Regulatory Particle in Sterol-Accelerated, ER-Associated Degradation of HMG CoA Reductase




Morris, Lindsey LaChelle

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Accelerated endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) of the cholesterol biosynthetic enzyme HMG CoA reductase results from its sterol-induced binding to ER membrane proteins called Insig-1 and Insig-2. This binding allows for subsequent ubiquitination of reductase by Insig-associated ubiquitin ligases. Once ubiquitinated, reductase becomes dislocated from ER membranes into the cytosol for degradation by 26S proteasomes through poorly defined reactions mediated by the AAA-ATPase VCP/p97 and augmented by the nonsterol isoprenoid geranylgeraniol. Here, we report that the oxysterol 25-hydroxycholesterol and geranylgeraniol combine to trigger extraction of reductase across ER membranes prior to its cytosolic release. This conclusion was drawn from studies utilizing a novel assay that measures membrane extraction of reductase by determining susceptibility of a lumenal epitope in the enzyme to in vitro protease digestion. Susceptibility of the lumenal epitope to protease digestion, and thus membrane extraction of reductase, was tightly regulated by 25-hydroxycholesterol and geranylgeraniol. The reaction was inhibited by RNA interference mediated knockdown of either Insigs or VCP/p97. In contrast, reductase continued to become membrane extracted, but not cytosolically dislocated, in cells deficient for AAA-ATPases of the proteasome 19S regulatory particle. These findings establish sequential roles for VCP/p97 and the 19S regulatory particle in the sterol-accelerated ERAD of reductase that may be applicable to the ERAD of other substrates.

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