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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 5;276(1):541-50.

Co-translational interactions of apoprotein B with the ribosome and translocon during lipoprotein assembly or targeting to the proteasome.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Hepatic lipoprotein assembly and secretion can be regulated by proteasomal degradation of newly synthesized apoB, especially if lipid synthesis or lipid transfer is low. Our previous studies in HepG2 cells showed that, under these conditions, newly synthesized apoB remains stably associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane (Mitchell, D. M., Zhou, M., Pariyarath, R., Wang, H., Aitchison, J. D., Ginsberg, H. N., and Fisher, E. A. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 95, 14733-14738). We now show that independent of lipid synthesis, apoB chains that appear full-length are, in fact, incompletely translated polypeptides still engaged by the ribosome and associated with the ER translocon. In the presence of active lipid synthesis and transfer, translation and lipoprotein assembly are completed, and the complexes exit the ER. Upon omitting fatty acids from, or adding a microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitor to, culture media to reduce lipid synthesis or transfer, respectively, apoB was degraded while it remained associated with the ER and complexed with cytosolic hsp70 and proteasomes. Thus, unlike other ER substrates of the proteasome, such as major histocompatibility complex class I molecules, apoB does not fully retrotranslocate to the cytosol before entering the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Although, upon immunofluorescence, apoB in proteasome-inhibited cells accumulated in punctate structures similar in appearance to aggresomes (cytosolic structures containing molecules irreversibly lost from the secretory pathway), these apoB molecules could be secreted when lipid synthesis was stimulated. The results suggest a model in which 1) apoB translation does not complete until lipoprotein assembly terminates, and 2) assembly with lipids or entry into the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway occurs while apoB polypeptides remain associated with the translocon and attached to the ribosome.

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