Lamin B receptor (LBR) is a polytopic membrane protein residing in the inner nuclear membrane in association with the nuclear lamina. We demonstrate that human LBR is essential for cholesterol synthesis. LBR mutant derivatives implicated in Greenberg skeletal dysplasia or Pelger-Huët anomaly fail to rescue the cholesterol auxotrophy of a LBR-deficient human cell line, consistent with a loss-of-function mechanism for these congenital disorders. These disease-causing variants fall into two classes: point mutations in the sterol reductase domain perturb enzymatic activity by reducing the affinity for the essential cofactor NADPH, while LBR truncations render the mutant protein metabolically unstable, leading to its rapid degradation at the inner nuclear membrane. Thus, metabolically unstable LBR variants may serve as long-sought-after model substrates enabling previously impossible investigations of poorly understood protein turnover mechanisms at the inner nuclear membrane of higher eukaryotes.
- Stephen G Young, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2016, Tsai et al.
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