Order through destruction: how ER-associated protein degradation contributes to organelle homeostasis.
Christianson JC., Carvalho P.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a large, dynamic, and multifunctional organelle. ER protein homeostasis is essential for the coordination of its diverse functions and depends on ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). The latter process selects target proteins in the lumen and membrane of the ER, promotes their ubiquitination, and facilitates their delivery into the cytosol for degradation by the proteasome. Originally characterized for a role in the degradation of misfolded proteins and rate-limiting enzymes of sterol biosynthesis, the many branches of ERAD now appear to control the levels of a wider range of substrates and influence more broadly the organization and functions of the ER, as well as its interactions with adjacent organelles. Here, we discuss recent mechanistic advances in our understanding of ERAD and of its consequences for the regulation of ER functions.