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Elife. 2018 Dec 13;7. pii: e40009. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40009.

The sterol-responsive RNF145 E3 ubiquitin ligase mediates the degradation of HMG-CoA reductase together with gp78 and Hrd1.

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Department of Medicine, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Contributed equally


Mammalian HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the rate-limiting enzyme of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and the therapeutic target of statins, is post-transcriptionally regulated by sterol-accelerated degradation. Under cholesterol-replete conditions, HMGCR is ubiquitinated and degraded, but the identity of the E3 ubiquitin ligase(s) responsible for mammalian HMGCR turnover remains controversial. Using systematic, unbiased CRISPR/Cas9 genome-wide screens with a sterol-sensitive endogenous HMGCR reporter, we comprehensively map the E3 ligase landscape required for sterol-accelerated HMGCR degradation. We find that RNF145 and gp78 independently co-ordinate HMGCR ubiquitination and degradation. RNF145, a sterol-responsive ER-resident E3 ligase, is unstable but accumulates following sterol depletion. Sterol addition triggers RNF145 recruitment to HMGCR via Insigs, promoting HMGCR ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. In the absence of both RNF145 and gp78, Hrd1, a third UBE2G2-dependent E3 ligase, partially regulates HMGCR activity. Our findings reveal a critical role for the sterol-responsive RNF145 in HMGCR regulation and elucidate the complexity of sterol-accelerated HMGCR degradation.

Editorial note:

This article has been through an editorial process in which the authors decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review. The Reviewing Editor's assessment is that all the issues have been addressed (see decision letter).


E3 ubiquitin ligase; ER associated degradation; HMGCR; RNF145; cell biology; cholesterol; gp78; human

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