Glucose-regulated protein 94 triage of mutant myocilin through endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation subverts a more efficient autophagic clearance mechanism

Amirthaa Suntharalingam, Jose F. Abisambra, John C. O'Leary, John Koren, Bo Zhang, Myung Kuk Joe, Laura J. Blair, Shannon E. Hill, Umesh K. Jinwal, Matthew Cockman, Adam S. Duerfeldt, Stanislav Tomarev, Brian S.J. Blagg, Raquel L. Lieberman, Chad A. Dickey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clearance of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is traditionally handled by ER-associated degradation (ERAD), a process that requires retro-translocation and ubiquitination mediated by a luminal chaperone network. Here we investigated whether the secreted, glaucoma-associated protein myocilin was processed by this pathway. Myocilin is typically transported through the ER/Golgi network, but inherited mutations in myocilin lead to its misfolding and aggregation within trabecular meshwork cells, and ultimately, ER stress-induced cell death. Using targeted knockdown strategies, we determined that glucose-regulated protein 94 (Grp94), the ER equivalent of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), specifically recognizes mutant myocilin, triaging it through ERAD. The addition of mutant myocilin to the short list of Grp94 clients strengthens the hypothesis that β-strand secondary structure drives client association with Grp94. Interestingly, the ERAD pathway is incapable of efficiently handling the removal of mutant myocilin, but when Grp94 is depleted, degradation of mutant myocilin is shunted away from ERAD toward a more robust clearance pathway for aggregation-prone proteins, the autophagy system. Thus ERAD inefficiency for distinct aggregation-prone proteins can be subverted by manipulating ER chaperones, leading to more effective clearance by the autophagic/lysosomal pathway. General Hsp90 inhibitors and a selective Grp94 inhibitor also facilitate clearance of mutant myocilin, suggesting that therapeutic approaches aimed at inhibiting Grp94 could be beneficial for patients suffering from some cases of myocilin glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40661-40669
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume287
Issue number48
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 23 2012
Externally publishedYes

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