Valosin-containing protein (p97) is a regulator of endoplasmic reticulum stress and of the degradation of N-end rule and ubiquitin-fusion degradation pathway substrates in mammalian cells

Cezary Wójcik, Maga Rowicka, Andrzej Kudlicki, Dominika Nowis, Elizabeth McConnell, Marek Kujawa, George N. DeMartino

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135 Scopus citations


Valosin-containing protein (VCP; p97; cdc48 in yeast) is a hexameric ATPase of the AAA family (ATPases with multiple cellular activities) involved in multiple cellular functions, including degradation of proteins by the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system (UPS). We examined the consequences of the reduction of VCP levels after RNA interference (RNAi) of VCP. A new stringent method of microarray analysis demonstrated that only four transcripts were nonspecifically affected by RNAi, whereas ∼30 transcripts were affected in response to reduced VCP levels in a sequence-independent manner. These transcripts encoded proteins involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis, and amino acid starvation. RNAi of VCP promoted the unfolded protein response, without eliciting a cytosolic stress response. RNAi of VCP inhibited the degradation of R-GFP (green fluorescent protein) and Ub-G76V-GFP, two cytoplasmic reporter proteins degraded by the UPS, and of α chain of the T-cell receptor, an established substrate of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Surprisingly, RNAi of VCP had no detectable effect on the degradation of two other ERAD substrates, α1-antitrypsin and δCD3. These results indicate that VCP is required for maintenance of normal ER structure and function and mediates the degradation of some proteins via the UPS, but is dispensable for the UPS-dependent degradation of some ERAD substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4606-4618
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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