Substrate discrimination in the ubiquitin–proteasome system is believed to be dictated by specific combinations of ubiquitin–protein ligases (E3s) and ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s). Here we identify Doa10/Ssm4 as a yeast E3 that is embedded in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/nuclear envelope yet can target the soluble transcription factor Mat2. Doa10 contains an unusual RING finger, which has ubiquitin-ligase activity in vitro and is essential in vivo for degradation of 2 via its Deg1 degradation signal. Doa10 functions with two E2s, Ubc6 and Ubc7, to ubiquitinate Deg1-bearing substrates, and it is also required for the degradation of at least one ER membrane protein. Interestingly, different short-lived ER proteins show distinct requirements for Doa10 and another ER-localized E3, Hrd1. Nevertheless, the two E3s overlap in function: A doa10 hrd1 mutant is far more sensitive to cadmium relative to either single mutant and displays strong constitutive induction of the unfolded protein response; this suggests a role for both E3s in eliminating aberrant ER proteins. The likely human ortholog of DOA10 is in the cri-du-chat syndrome critical region on chromosome 5p, suggesting that defective ubiquitin ligation might contribute to this common genetic disorder.
Swanson, Rob, "A conserved ubiquitin ligase of the nuclear envelope/endoplasmic reticulum that functions in both ER-associated and Mat a2 repressor degradation" (2001). Biology Faculty Publications. Paper 2.