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Title: Resolution of proteotoxic stress in the endoplasmic reticulum by ubiquitin ligase complexes
Author: Lari, Federica
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 1512
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifunctional organelle, primarily responsible for the folding and maturation of secretory proteins, as well as lipid metabolism, calcium homeostasis, ubiquitin-dependent signalling and cell fate decisions. ER-associated degradation (ERAD) oversees protein folding and delivers misfolded proteins for degradation by the proteasome via ubiquitin conjugation mediated by RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligases. An intact ERAD is crucial to cellular homeostasis, as unresolved protein imbalances cause ER stress that ultimately lead to apoptosis. The human ER accommodates at least 25 E3s, however our understanding is mostly limited to Hrd1 and AMFR/gp78, both of which have a defined function in ERAD. To understand the contribution of ER E3s to cellular and organelle homeostasis, this study used mass spectrometry of purified E3 complexes to identify cofactors and build interaction networks of ER-resident E3s. These findings will form the foundation for investigating the biological roles of these ubiquitin ligases. Transcriptional analysis highlighted the centrality of Hrd1 among all ER-resident E3s in response to protein misfolding in the ER. Additionally, the contribution of individual Hrd1 complex components to resolving proteotoxic stress was assessed using a misfolded antibody subunit (IgM heavy chain), rather than conventional pharmacological treatments. The ERAD components essential for substrate degradation and survival under proteotoxic stress were identified, highlighting the pivotal role of Hrd1, its cofactor SEL1L and the Derlin family members. Finally, it was demonstrated that autophagy induction in response to proteasome inhibition is key to relieve the burden of protein misfolding in the ER, as it sustained the survival of cells defective for ERAD. Importantly, this study proposes a potential involvement of Hrd1 in signalling from the ER to autophagy, suggesting potential crosstalk between the ERAD and autophagic pathways.
Supervisor: Christianson, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: proteotoxic stress ; endoplasmic reticulum ; protein degradation ; E3 ubiquitin ligase ; Hrd1