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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 14;279(20):21533-42. Epub 2004 Feb 19.

Regulation of immature protein dynamics in the endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.


The quality of nascent protein folding in vivo is influenced by the microdynamics of the proteins. Excessive collisions between proteins may lead to terminal misfolding, and the frequency of protein interactions with molecular chaperones determines their folding rates. However, it is unclear how immature protein dynamics are regulated. In this study, we analyzed the diffusion of immature tyrosinase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of non-pigmented cells by taking advantage of the thermal sensitivity of the tyrosinase. The diffusion of tyrosinase tagged with yellow fluorescence protein (YFP) in living cells was directly measured using fluorescent correlation spectroscopy. The diffusion of folded tyrosinase in the ER of cells treated with brefeldin A, as measured by fluorescent correlation spectroscopy, was critically affected by the expression level of tyrosinase-YFP. Under defined conditions in which random diffusional motion of folded protein was allowed, we found that the millisecond-order diffusion rate observed for folded tyrosinase almost disappeared for the misfolded molecules synthesized at a nonpermissive high temperature. This was not because of enhanced aggregation at the high temperature, as terminally misfolded tyrosinase synthesized in the absence of calnexin interactions showed comparable, albeit slightly slower, diffusion. Yet, the thermally misfolded tyrosinase was not immobilized when measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. In contrast, terminally misfolded tyrosinase synthesized in cells in which alpha-glucosidases were inhibited showed extensive immobilization. Hence, we suggest that the ER represses random fluctuations of immature tyrosinase molecules while preventing their immobilization.

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