Familial encephalopathy with neuroserpin inclusion bodies is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of neuroserpin polymers in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cortical and subcortical neurons in the CNS because of neuroserpin point mutations. ER-associated degradation (ERAD) is involved in mutant neuroserpin degradation. In this study, we demonstrate that two ER-associated E3 ligases, Hrd1 and gp78, are involved in the ubiquitination and degradation of mutant neuroserpin. Overexpression of Hrd1 and gp78 decreases the mutant neuroserpin protein level, whereas Hrd1 and gp78 knockdown increases mutant neuroserpin stability. Moreover, ERAD impairment by mutant valosin-containing protein increases the mutant neuroserpin protein level and aggregate formation. Thus, these findings identify mutant neuroserpin as an ERAD target and show that Hrd1 and gp78 mediate mutant neuroserpin turnover through the ERAD pathway
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