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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 11;276(19):16193-200. Epub 2001 Feb 2.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation of T cell receptor subunits. Involvement of ER-associated ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s).

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  • 1Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1152, USA.


Degradation of proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum is fundamental to quality control within the secretory pathway, serves as a way of regulating levels of crucial proteins, and is utilized by viruses to enhance pathogenesis. In yeast two ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s), UBC6p and UBC7p are implicated in this process. We now report the characterization of murine homologs of these E2s. MmUBC6 is an integral membrane protein that is anchored via its hydrophobic C-terminal tail to the endoplasmic reticulum. MmUBC7, which is not an integral membrane protein, shows significant endoplasmic reticulum colocalization with MmUBC6. Overexpression of catalytically inactive MmUBC7 significantly delayed degradation from the endoplasmic reticulum of two T cell antigen receptor subunits, alpha and CD3-delta, and suggests a role for the ubiquitin conjugating system at the initiation of retrograde movement from the endoplasmic reticulum. These findings also implicate, for the first time, a specific E2 in degradation from the endoplasmic reticulum in mammalian cells.

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