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FEBS J. 2005 Feb;272(4):1063-71.

The stop transfer sequence of the human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A determines localization to the endoplasmic reticulum by both static retention and retrieval mechanisms.

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UMR 7561 CNRS-Université Henri Poincaré Nancy I, France.


Human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1A) isoforms are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident type I membrane proteins responsible for the detoxification of a broad range of toxic phenolic compounds. These proteins contain a C-terminal stop transfer sequence with a transmembrane domain (TMD), which anchors the protein into the membrane, followed by a short cytosolic tail (CT). Here, we investigated the mechanism of ER residency of UGT1A mediated by the stop transfer sequence by analysing the subcellular localization and sensitivity to endoglycosidases of chimeric proteins formed by fusion of UGT1A stop transfer sequence (TMD/CT) with the ectodomain of the plasma membrane CD4 reporter protein. We showed that the stop transfer sequence, when attached to C-terminus of the CD4 ectodomain was able to prevent it from being transported to the cell surface. The protein was retained in the ER indicating that this sequence functions as an ER localization signal. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ER localization conferred by the stop transfer sequence was mediated in part by the KSKTH retrieval signal located on the CT. Interestingly, our data indicated that UGT1A TMD alone was sufficient to retain the protein in ER without recycling from Golgi compartment, and brought evidence that organelle localization conferred by UGT1A TMD was determined by the length of its hydrophobic core. We conclude that both retrieval mechanism and static retention mediated by the stop transfer sequence contribute to ER residency of UGT1A proteins.

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