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J Neurochem. 2006 Mar;96(5):1491-9. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Homocysteine-induced endoplasmic reticulum protein (Herp) is up-regulated in sporadic inclusion-body myositis and in endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced cultured human muscle fibers.

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USC Neuromuscular Center, Department of Neurology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, California 90017-1912, USA.


Herp is a stress-response protein localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. Herp was proposed to improve ER-folding, decrease ER protein load, and participate in ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Intra-muscle-fiber ubiquitinated multiprotein-aggregates containing, among other proteins, either amyloid-beta (Abeta) or phosphorylated tau are characteristic of sporadic inclusion-body myositis (s-IBM). ER stress and proteasome inhibition appear to play a role in s-IBM pathogenesis. We have now studied Herp in s-IBM muscle fibers and in ER-stress-induced or proteasome-inhibited cultured human muscle fibers. In s-IBM muscle fibers: (i) Herp was strongly immunoreactive in the form of aggregates, which co-localized with Abeta, GRP78, and beta2 proteasome subunit; (ii) Herp mRNA and protein were increased. In ER-stress-induced cultured human muscle fibers: (i) Herp immunoreactivity was diffusely increased; (ii) Herp mRNA and protein were increased. In proteasome-inhibited cultured human muscle fibers: (i) Herp immunoreactivity was in the form of aggregates; (ii) Herp protein was increased, but its mRNA was not. Accordingly, in s-IBM muscle fibers: (i) increase of Herp might be due to both ER-stress and proteasome inhibition; (ii) co-localization of Herp with Abeta, proteasome, and ER-chaperone GRP78 could reflect its possible role in processing and degradation of cytotoxic proteins in ER.

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