Quality control of endoplasmic reticulum proteins involves the identification and engagement of misfolded proteins, dislocation of the misfolded protein across the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, and ubiquitin-mediated targeting to the proteasome for degradation. Ancient ubiquitous protein 1 (AUP1) physically associates with the mammalian HRD1-SEL1L complex, and AUP1 depletion impairs degradation of misfolded ER proteins. One of the functions of AUP1 in ER quality control is to recruit the soluble E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2G2. We further show that the CUE domain of AUP1 regulates polyubiquitylation and facilitates the interaction of AUP1 with the HRD1 complex and with dislocation substrates. AUP1 localizes both to the ER and to lipid droplets. The AUP1 expression level affects the abundance of cellular lipid droplets and as such represents the first protein with lipid droplet regulatory activity to be linked to ER quality control. These findings indicate a possible connection between ER protein quality control and lipid droplets.
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