EMC is required for biogenesis of Xport-A, an essential chaperone of Rhodopsin-1 and the TRP channel.
Gaspar CJ., Vieira LC., Santos CC., Christianson JC., Jakubec D., Strisovsky K., Adrain C., Domingos PM.
The ER membrane protein complex (EMC) is required for the biogenesis of a subset of tail anchored (TA) and polytopic membrane proteins, including Rhodopsin-1 (Rh1) and the TRP channel. To understand the physiological implications of EMC-dependent membrane protein biogenesis, we perform a bioinformatic identification of Drosophila TA proteins. From 254 predicted TA proteins, screening in larval eye discs identified two proteins that require EMC for their biogenesis: fan and Xport-A. Fan is required for male fertility in Drosophila and we show that EMC is also required for this process. Xport-A is essential for the biogenesis of both Rh1 and TRP, raising the possibility that disruption of Rh1 and TRP biogenesis in EMC mutants is secondary to the Xport-A defect. We show that EMC is required for Xport-A TMD membrane insertion and that EMC-independent Xport-A mutants rescue Rh1 and TRP biogenesis in EMC mutants. Finally, our work also reveals a role for Xport-A in a glycosylation-dependent triage mechanism during Rh1 biogenesis in the endoplasmic reticulum.