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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 9;7:39887. doi: 10.1038/srep39887.

Sec16A is critical for both conventional and unconventional secretion of CFTR.

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Department of Pharmacology, Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project for Medical Sciences, Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, Korea.
Division of Electron Microscopic Research, Korea Basic Science Institute, Daejeon 34133, Korea.


CFTR is a transmembrane protein that reaches the cell surface via the conventional Golgi mediated secretion pathway. Interestingly, ER-to-Golgi blockade or ER stress induces alternative GRASP-mediated, Golgi-bypassing unconventional trafficking of wild-type CFTR and the disease-causing ΔF508-CFTR, which has folding and trafficking defects. Here, we show that Sec16A, the key regulator of conventional ER-to-Golgi transport, plays a critical role in the ER exit of protein cargos during unconventional secretion. In an initial gene silencing screen, Sec16A knockdown abolished the unconventional secretion of wild-type and ΔF508-CFTR induced by ER-to-Golgi blockade, whereas the knockdown of other COPII-related components did not. Notably, during unconventional secretion, Sec16A was redistributed to cell periphery and associated with GRASP55 in mammalian cells. Molecular and morphological analyses revealed that IRE1α-mediated signaling is an upstream regulator of Sec16A during ER-to-Golgi blockade or ER stress associated unconventional secretion. These findings highlight a novel function of Sec16A as an essential mediator of ER stress-associated unconventional secretion.

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