Unveiling the degradative route of the V247M α-sarcoglycan mutant responsible for LGMD-2D

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Abstract

Many membrane and secretory proteins that fail to pass quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are dislocated into the cytosol and degraded by the proteasome. In applying rigid rules, however, quality control sometimes discharges proteins that, even though defective, retain their function. The unnecessary removal of such proteins represents the pathogenetic hallmark of diverse genetic diseases, in the case of ΔF508 mutant of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator being probably the best known example. Recently, the inappropriate proteasomal degradation of skeletal muscle sarcoglycans (α, β, γ and δ) with missense mutation has been proposed to be at the bases of mild-to-severe forms of limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) known as type 2D, 2E, 2C and 2F, respectively. The quality control pathway responsible for sarcoglycan mutant disposal, however, is so far unexplored. Here we reveal key components of the degradative route of V247M α-sarcoglycan mutant, the second most frequently reported mutation in LGMD-2D. The disclosure of the pathway, which is led by the E3 ligases HRD1 and RFP2, permits to identify new potential druggable targets of a disease for which no effective therapy is at present available. Notably, we show that the pharmacological inhibition of HRD1 activity rescues the expression of V247-α-sarcoglycan both in a heterologous cell model and in myotubes derived from a LGMD-2D patient carrying the L31P/V247M mutations. This represents the first evidence that the activity of E3 ligases, the enzymes in charge of mutant fate, can be eligible for drug interventions to treat sarcoglycanopathy.

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