Protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane
Authors: Khmelinskii A, Blaszczak E, Pantazopoulou M, Fischer B, Omnus DJ, Le Dez G, Brossard A, Gunnarsson A, Barry JD, Meurer M, Kirrmaier D, Boone C, Huber W, Rabut G, Ljungdahl PO, Knop M
CellNetworks People: Huber Wolfgang, Knop Michael
Journal: Nature. 2014 Dec 17;516(7531):410-3. doi: 10.1038/nature14096.

The nuclear envelope is a double membrane that separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The inner nuclear membrane (INM) functions in essential nuclear processes including chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression. The outer nuclear membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum and is the site of membrane protein synthesis. Protein homeostasis in this compartment is ensured by endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathways that in yeast involve the integral membrane E3 ubiquitin ligases Hrd1 and Doa10 operating with the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 (refs 2, 3). However, little is known about protein quality control at the INM. Here we describe a protein degradation pathway at the INM in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mediated by the Asi complex consisting of the RING domain proteins Asi1 and Asi3 (ref. 4). We report that the Asi complex functions together with the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 to degrade soluble and integral membrane proteins. Genetic evidence suggests that the Asi ubiquitin ligase defines a pathway distinct from, but complementary to, ERAD. Using unbiased screening with a novel genome-wide yeast library based on a tandem fluorescent protein timer, we identify more than 50 substrates of the Asi, Hrd1 and Doa10 E3 ubiquitin ligases. We show that the Asi ubiquitin ligase is involved in degradation of mislocalized integral membrane proteins, thus acting to maintain and safeguard the identity of the INM.