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J Cell Biol. 2006 Oct 23;175(2):261-70. Epub 2006 Oct 16.

SEL1L, the homologue of yeast Hrd3p, is involved in protein dislocation from the mammalian ER.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Protein quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) involves recognition of misfolded proteins and dislocation from the ER lumen into the cytosol, followed by proteasomal degradation. Viruses have co-opted this pathway to destroy proteins that are crucial for host defense. Examination of dislocation of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) heavy chains (HCs) catalyzed by the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) immunoevasin US11 uncovered a conserved complex of the mammalian dislocation machinery. We analyze the contributions of a novel complex member, SEL1L, mammalian homologue of yHrd3p, to the dislocation process. Perturbation of SEL1L function discriminates between the dislocation pathways used by US11 and US2, which is a second HCMV protein that catalyzes dislocation of class I MHC HCs. Furthermore, reduction of the level of SEL1L by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) inhibits the degradation of a misfolded ribophorin fragment (RI332) independently of the presence of viral accessories. These results allow us to place SEL1L in the broader context of glycoprotein degradation, and imply the existence of multiple independent modes of extraction of misfolded substrates from the mammalian ER.

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