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J Cell Biochem. 2003 Aug 1;89(5):1019-29.

Ubiquitin-dependent and -independent proteasomal degradation of apoB associated with endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, respectively, in HepG2 cells.

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The Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030-3498, USA.


Studies in hepatocyte cultures indicate that apolipoprotein (apo) B-100 production is regulated largely by intracellular degradation and the proteasome pathway is a major mechanism for the degradation. In the present study, we have examined the detailed itinerary of apoB degradation through its secretory pathway in HepG2 cells. We found that ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of apoB largely occurred on the cytosolic surface of rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and that a small proportion of apoB was dislodged from the secretory organelles into the cytosolic compartment where it underwent ubiquitination for proteasomal degradation. The transmembrane conformation of apoB persisted as the protein was transported through the Golgi apparatus. We further demonstrated that proteasomal degradation of apoB was associated the Golgi apparatus but Golgi-associated apoB was not ubiquitinated, indicating an ubiquitin-independent proteasomal degradation of apoB is associated with this organelle. We conclude that apoB undergoes proteasomal degradation while going through different compartments of the secretory pathway; further, ER-associated proteasomal degradation of apoB in the ER is ubiquitin-dependent whereas that occurring in the Golgi is ubiquitin-independent.

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