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EMBO J. 2007 May 16;26(10):2501-12. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Endoplasmic reticulum quality control regulates the fate of transthyretin variants in the cell.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


The secretion of transthyretin (TTR) variants contributes to the pathogenesis of amyloidosis because they form aggregates in the extracellular environment. However, the mechanism of how TTR variants pass the quality control system in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has not yet been elucidated. We investigated here the mechanism of how TTR passes ER monitoring. Monomeric mutation introduced in TTRs (M-TTRs) resulted in the ER retention of amyloidogenic M-TTRs but not non-amyloidogenic M-TTRs. Retention of amyloidogenic M-TTRs induced the unfolded protein response and upregulated the expression of ER chaperones BiP and glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 94. Additionally, we showed that the ER-retained amyloidogenic M-TTRs are subject to ER-associated degradation. On the other hand, the amyloidogenic TTR variants and non-amyloidogenic M-TTRs were secreted normally. These findings suggest that unlike for wild-type TTR, the ER quality control system may differentially regulate the fate of the TTR variants and their monomeric counterparts.

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