Decreased ER-associated degradation of α-TCR induced by Grp78 depletion with the SubAB cytotoxin

Agnieszka Lass, Marek Kujawa, Elizabeth McConnell, Adrienne W. Paton, James C. Paton, Cezary Wójcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


HeLa cells stably expressing the α chain of T-cell receptor (αTCR), a model substrate of ER-associated degradation (ERAD), were used to analyze the effects of BiP/Grp78 depletion by the SubAB cytotoxin. SubAB induced XBP1 splicing, followed by JNK phosphorylation, eIF2α phosphorylation, upregulation of ATF3/4 and partial ATF6 cleavage. Other markers of ER stress, including elements of ERAD pathway, as well as markers of cytoplasmic stress, were not induced. SubAB treatment decreased absolute levels of αTCR, which was caused by inhibition of protein synthesis. At the same time, the half-life of αTCR was extended almost fourfold from 70 min to 210 min, suggesting that BiP normally facilitates ERAD. Depletion of p97/VCP partially rescued SubAB-induced depletion of αTCR, confirming the role of VCP in ERAD of αTCR. It therefore appears that ERAD of αTCR is driven by at least two different ATP-ase systems located at two sides of the ER membrane, BiP located on the lumenal side, while p97/VCP on the cytoplasmic side. While SubAB altered cell morphology by inducing cytoplasm vacuolization and accumulation of lipid droplets, caspase activation was partial and subsided after prolonged incubation. Expression of CHOP/GADD153 occurred only after prolonged incubation and was not associated with apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2865-2879
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxin
  • ER-associated degradation (ERAD)
  • Subtilase
  • T-cell receptor (TCR)
  • Unfolded protein response (UPR)
  • endoplasmic reticulum (ER)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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