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Trends Cell Biol. 1997 Apr;7(4):151-6.

ER-associated and proteasomemediated protein degradation: how two topologically restricted events came together.


A protein-degradation pathway associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) can selectively remove polypeptides from the secretory pathway. The mechanisms of this ER-associated protein degradation were obscure, but recent studies using both yeast and mammalian cells have indicated that substrates for degradation are targeted to the cytosol where proteolysis is catalysed by the proteasome. The degradation process is now known to comprise at least three distinct events: first, recognition of a polypeptide for degradation; second, efflux of this substrate from the ER to the cytosol; and, finally, degradation by the proteasome. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding how each of these steps is achieved.

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