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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 19;8(4):e61418. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061418. Print 2013.

Remodeling the proteostasis network to rescue glucocerebrosidase variants by inhibiting ER-associated degradation and enhancing ER folding.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA.


Gaucher's disease (GD) is characterized by loss of lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GC) activity. Mutations in the gene encoding GC destabilize the protein's native folding leading to ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of the misfolded enzyme. Enhancing the cellular folding capacity by remodeling the proteostasis network promotes native folding and lysosomal activity of mutated GC variants. However, proteostasis modulators reported so far, including ERAD inhibitors, trigger cellular stress and lead to induction of apoptosis. We show herein that lacidipine, an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker that also inhibits ryanodine receptors on the ER membrane, enhances folding, trafficking and lysosomal activity of the most severely destabilized GC variant achieved via ERAD inhibition in fibroblasts derived from patients with GD. Interestingly, reprogramming the proteostasis network by combining modulation of Ca(2+) homeostasis and ERAD inhibition remodels the unfolded protein response and dramatically lowers apoptosis induction typically associated with ERAD inhibition.

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