Rhomboid distorts lipids to break the viscosity-imposed speed limit of membrane diffusion

Enzymes that cut proteins inside membranes regulate diverse cellular events, including cell signaling, homeostasis, and host-pathogen interactions. Adaptations that enable catalysis in this exceptional environment are poorly understood. We visualized single molecules of multiple rhomboid intramembrane proteases and unrelated proteins in living cells (human and Drosophila) and planar lipid bilayers. Notably, only rhomboid proteins were able to diffuse above the Saffman-Delbrück viscosity limit of the membrane. Hydrophobic mismatch with the irregularly shaped rhomboid fold distorted surrounding lipids and propelled rhomboid diffusion. The rate of substrate processing in living cells scaled with rhomboid diffusivity. Thus, intramembrane proteolysis is naturally diffusion-limited, but … Continue reading Rhomboid distorts lipids to break the viscosity-imposed speed limit of membrane diffusion

Formyl-methionine as an N-degron of a eukaryotic N-end rule pathway

In bacteria, nascent proteins bear the pretranslationally generated N-terminal (Nt) formyl-methionine (fMet) residue. Nt-fMet of bacterial proteins is a degradation signal, termed fMet/N-degron. By contrast, proteins synthesized by cytosolic ribosomes of eukaryotes were presumed to bear unformylated Nt-Met. Here we found that the yeast formyltransferase Fmt1, although imported into mitochondria, could also produce Nt-formylated proteins in the cytosol. Nt-formylated proteins were strongly up-regulated in stationary phase or upon starvation for specific amino acids. This up-regulation strictly required the Gcn2 kinase, which phosphorylates Fmt1 and mediates its retention in the cytosol. We also found that the Nt-fMet residues of Nt-formylated proteins … Continue reading Formyl-methionine as an N-degron of a eukaryotic N-end rule pathway

UBE2O remodels the proteome during terminal erythroid differentiation

During terminal differentiation, the global protein complement is remodeled, as epitomized by erythrocytes, whose cytosol is ~98% globin. The erythroid proteome undergoes a rapid transition at the reticulocyte stage; however, the mechanisms driving programmed elimination of preexisting cytosolic proteins are unclear. We found that a mutation in the murine Ube2o gene, which encodes a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme induced during erythropoiesis, results in anemia. Proteomic analysis suggested that UBE2O is a broad-spectrum ubiquitinating enzyme that remodels the erythroid proteome. In particular, ribosome elimination, a hallmark of reticulocyte differentiation, was defective in Ube2o–/– mutants. UBE2O recognized ribosomal proteins and other substrates directly, targeting … Continue reading UBE2O remodels the proteome during terminal erythroid differentiation