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Nature. 2002 Jul 25;418(6896):438-42.

E3 ubiquitin ligase that recognizes sugar chains.

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Department of Tumor Immunology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan.


N-glycosylation of proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has a central role in protein quality control. Here we report that N-glycan serves as a signal for degradation by the Skp1-Cullin1-Fbx2-Roc1 (SCF(Fbx2)) ubiquitin ligase complex. The F-box protein Fbx2 (ref. 4) binds specifically to proteins attached to N-linked high-mannose oligosaccharides and subsequently contributes to ubiquitination of N-glycosylated proteins. Pre-integrin beta 1 is a target of Fbx2; these two proteins interact in the cytosol after inhibition of the proteasome. In addition, expression of the mutant Fbx2 Delta F, which lacks the F-box domain that is essential for forming the SCF complex, appreciably blocks degradation of typical substrates of the ER-associated degradation pathway. Our results indicate that SCF(Fbx2) ubiquitinates N-glycosylated proteins that are translocated from the ER to the cytosol by the quality control mechanism.

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