Endoplasmic reticulum quality control of asialoglycoprotein receptor H2a involves a determinant for retention and not retrieval

Marina Shenkman, Michal Ayalon, Gerardo Z. Lederkremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human asialoglycoprotein receptor H2a subunit contains a charged pentapeptide, EGHRG, in its ectodomain that is the only sequence absent from the H2b alternatively spliced variant. H2b exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) even when singly expressed, whereas H2a gives rise to a cleaved soluble secreted ectodomain fragment; uncleaved membrane-bound H2a molecules are completely retained and degraded in the ER. We have inserted the H2a pentapeptide into the sequence of the H1 subunit (H1i5), which caused complete ER retention but, unexpectedly, no degradation. This suggests that the pentapeptide is a determinant for ER retention not colocalizing in H2a with the determinant for degradation. The state of sugar chain processing and the ER localization of H1i5, which was unchanged at 15°C or after treatment with nocodazole, indicate ER retention and not retrieval from the cis-Golgi or the intermediate compartment. H1i5 folded similarly to H1, and both associated to calnexin. However, whereas H1 dissociated with a half time of 45 min, H1i5 remained bound to the chaperone for prolonged periods. The correct global folding of H2a and H1i5 and of other normal precursors and unassembled proteins and the true ER retention, and not exit and retrieval, suggest a difference in their quality control mechanism compared with that of misfolded proteins, which does involve retrieval. However, both pathways may involve calnexin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11363-11368
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - 14 Oct 1997


  • Endoplasmic reticulum degradation
  • Protein folding
  • Retention signal
  • Signal peptidase
  • T cell antigen receptor


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