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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jul 29;280(30):28127-32. Epub 2005 Jun 2.

Role of p97 AAA-ATPase in the retrotranslocation of the cholera toxin A1 chain, a non-ubiquitinated substrate.

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GI Cell Biology, Children's Hospital Boston, the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The enzymatic A1 chain of cholera toxin retrotranslocates across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane into the cytosol, where it induces toxicity. Almost all other retrotranslocation substrates are modified by the attachment of polyubiquitin chains and moved into the cytosol by the ubiquitin-interacting p97 ATPase complex. The cholera toxin A1 chain, however, can induce toxicity in the absence of ubiquitination, and the motive force that drives retrotranslocation is not known. Here, we use adenovirus expressing dominant-negative mutants of p97 to test whether p97 is required for toxin action. We find that cholera toxin still functions with only a small decrease in potency in cells that cannot retrotranslocate other substrates at all. These results suggest that p97 does not provide the primary driving force for extracting the A1 chain from the endoplasmic reticulum, a finding that is consistent with a requirement for polyubiquitination in p97 function.

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