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EMBO J. 2007 Oct 3;26(19):4177-88. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Sequential steps and checkpoints in the early exocytic compartment during secretory IgM biogenesis.

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Università Vita-Salute, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy.


The biogenesis of secretory IgM occurs stepwise under stringent quality control, formation of micro(2)L(2) preceding polymerization. How is efficiency of IgM secretion coupled to fidelity? We show here that ERp44, a soluble protein involved in thiol-mediated retention, interacts with ERGIC-53. Binding to this hexameric lectin contributes to ERp44 localization in the ER-golgi intermediate compartment. ERp44 and ERGIC-53 increase during B-lymphocyte differentiation, concomitantly with the onset of IgM polymerization. Both preferentially bind micro(2)L(2) and higher order intermediates. Their overexpression or silencing in non-lymphoid cells promotes or decreases secretion of IgM polymers, respectively. In IgM-secreting B-lymphoma cells, micro chains interact first with BiP and later with ERp44 and ERGIC-53. Our findings suggest that ERGIC-53 provides a platform that receives micro(2)L(2) subunits from the BiP-dependent checkpoint, assisting polymerization. In this process, ERp44 couples thiol-dependent assembly and quality control.

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