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Cell. 1988 Jul 15;54(2):209-20.

Degradation from the endoplasmic reticulum: disposing of newly synthesized proteins.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


We have characterized a pre-Golgi, proteolytic pathway for rapid degradation of newly synthesized T cell receptor (TCR) subunits which is insensitive to drugs that block lysosomal proteolysis. The site of degradation in this pathway is either part of or closely related to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This "ER" degradative pathway very likely plays an important role in many cells in the removal of unassembled or incompletely assembled membrane protein complexes from the secretory pathway. It is the sole pathway followed by TCR alpha chains and alpha-beta complexes in transfected fibroblasts. In T cells treated with ionophores, which disrupt transport of the TCR from the ER to the Golgi, all newly synthesized alpha, beta, and delta chains are destroyed by this pathway. A variety of biochemical and morphological techniques have been used to distinguish the "ER" degradative pathway from an alternative, lysosomal pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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