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Mol Cell. 2014 Jul 17;55(2):227-37. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.05.025. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Cytosolic quality control of mislocalized proteins requires RNF126 recruitment to Bag6.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.
Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Development, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK. Electronic address:


Approximately 30% of eukaryotic proteins contain hydrophobic signals for localization to the secretory pathway. These proteins can be mislocalized in the cytosol due to mutations in their targeting signals, certain stresses, or intrinsic inefficiencies in their translocation. Mislocalized proteins (MLPs) are protected from aggregation by the Bag6 complex and degraded by a poorly characterized proteasome-dependent pathway. Here, we identify the ubiquitin ligase RNF126 as a key component of the MLP degradation pathway. In vitro reconstitution and fractionation studies reveal that RNF126 is the primary Bag6-dependent ligase. RNF126 is recruited to the N-terminal Ubl domain of Bag6 and preferentially ubiquitinates juxtahydrophobic lysine residues on Bag6-associated clients. Interfering with RNF126 recruitment in vitro prevents ubiquitination, and RNF126 depletion in cells partially stabilizes a Bag6 client. Bag6-dependent ubiquitination can be recapitulated with purified components, paving the way for mechanistic analyses of downstream steps in this cytosolic quality control pathway.

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