The AAA-ATPase (ATPase associated with various cellular activities) p97 has been implicated in the degradation of misfolded and unassembled proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ERAD). To better understand its role in this process, we used a reconstituted cell-free system to define the precise contribution of p97 in degrading immature forms of the polytopic, multi-domain protein CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator). Although p97 augmented both the rate and the extent of CFTR degradation, it was not obligatorily required for ERAD. Only a 50% decrease in degradation was observed in the complete absence of p97. Moreover, p97 specifically stimulated the degradation of CFTR transmembrane (TM) domains but had no effect on isolated cytosolic domains. Consistent with this, p97-mediated extraction of intact TM domains was independent of proteolytic cleavage and influenced by TM segment hydrophobicity, indicating that the relative contribution of p97 is partially determined by substrate stability. Thus, we propose that p97 functions in ERAD as a nonessential but important ancillary component to the proteasome where it facilitates substrate presentation and increases the degradation rate and efficiency of stable (TM) domains.
- ER-associated degradation
- Polytopic protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)