UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing protein-1 modulates HMG-CoA reductase degradation to coordinate synthesis of sterol and nonsterol isoprenoids

Marc M. Schumacher, Dong Jae Jun, Brittany M. Johnson, Russell A. DeBose-Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


UBIAD1 (UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing protein- 1) utilizes geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGpp) to synthesize vitamin K2. We previously reported that sterols stimulate binding of UBIAD1 to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)- localized 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG) CoA reductase. UBIAD1binding inhibits sterol-accelerated, ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of reductase, one of several mechanisms for feedback control of this rate-limiting enzyme in the branched pathway that produces cholesterol and nonsterol isoprenoids such as GGpp. Accumulation of GGpp in ER membranes triggers release of UBIAD1 from reductase, permitting its maximal ERAD and ER-to-Golgi transport of UBIAD1. Mutant UBIAD1 variants associated with Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD), a human disorder characterized by corneal accumulation of cholesterol, resist GGpp-induced release from reductase and remain sequestered in the ER to block reductase ERAD. Using lines of genetically manipulated cells, we now examine consequences of UBIAD1 deficiency and SCD-associated UBIAD1 on reductase ERAD and cholesterol synthesis. Our results indicated that reductase becomes destabilized in the absence of UBIAD1, resulting in reduced cholesterol synthesis and intracellular accumulation. In contrast, an SCD-associated UBIAD1 variant inhibited reductase ERAD, thereby stabilizing the enzyme and contributing to enhanced synthesis and intracellular accumulation of cholesterol. Finally, we present evidence that GGpp-regulated, ER-to-Golgi transport enables UBIAD1 to modulate reductase ERAD such that synthesis of nonsterol isoprenoids is maintained in sterol-replete cells. These findings further establish UBIAD1 as a central player in the reductase ERAD pathway and regulation of isoprenoid synthesis. They also indicate that UBIAD1-mediated inhibition of reductase ERAD underlies cholesterol accumulation associated with SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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