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The ubiquitin-domain protein HERP forms a complex with components of the endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation pathway.

Schulze A., Standera S., Buerger E., Kikkert M., van Voorden S., Wiertz E., Koning F., Kloetzel P.-M., Seeger M.

To eliminate misfolded proteins that accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) the cell mainly relies on ubiquitin-proteasome dependent ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Proteolysis of ERAD substrates by the proteasome requires their ubiquitylation and retro-translocation from the ER to the cytoplasm. Here we describe a high molecular mass protein complex associated with the ER membrane, which facilitates ERAD. It contains the ubiquitin domain protein (UDP) HERP, the ubiquitin protein ligase HRD1, as well as the retro-translocation factors p97, Derlin-1 and VIMP. Our data on the structural arrangement of these ERAD proteins suggest that p97 interacts directly with membrane-resident components of the complex including Derlin-1 and HRD1, while HERP binds directly to HRD1. We propose that ubiquitylation, as well as retro-translocation of proteins from the ER are performed by this modular protein complex, which permits the close coordination of these consecutive steps within ERAD.

J. Mol. Biol. 354:1021-1027(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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