2016 年 136 巻 6 号 p. 805-809
Studies on endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD), in which unfolded proteins accumulated in the ER are selectively transported to the cytosol for degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system, have been focused on molecular mechanisms in yeast. In human, disruption of the ER quality control system causes various diseases, such as neurodegenerative disease, lifestyle disease, and cancer. However, there are many ERAD genes with unknown physiological and pathological functions. We identified the novel ubiquitin ligase HRD1 involved in ERAD. HRD1 is expressed in brain neurons and protects against ER stress-induced apoptosis. In familial Parkinson's disease, accumulation of Parkin-associated endothelin receptor-like receptor (Pael-R), a substrate of ubiquitin ligase Parkin involved in ERAD, causes ER stress and apoptosis. We demonstrated that HRD1 promotes ubiquitination and degradation of Pael-R and suppresses ER stress and apoptosis induced by Pael-R. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) is processed into amyloid β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease. We found that HRD1 promotes APP ubiquitination and degradation, resulting in decreased generation of Aβ. Furthermore, suppression of HRD1 expression causes APP accumulation and Aβ generation associated with ER stress and apoptosis. Interestingly, HRD1 protein levels significantly decreased in the cerebral cortex of Alzheimer's disease patients, possibly because of its insolubilization. We demonstrated that HRD1 protein was insolubilized by oxidative stress, resulting in the accumulation of HRD1 into the aggresome. In conclusion, oxidative stress-induced HRD1 insolubilization might be involved in a vicious cycle of increased Aβ production and Aβ-induced oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.