Identification of the sequences in HMG-CoA reductase required for karmellae assembly

Mark L. Parrish, Christian Sengstag, Jasper D. Rine, Robin L. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In all eukaryotic cells that have been examined, specific membrane arrays are induced in response to increased levels of the ER membrane protein, HMG- CoA reductase. Analysis of these inducible membranes has the potential to reveal basic insights into general membrane assembly. Yeast express two HMG- CoA reductase isozymes, and each isozyme induces a morphologically distinct proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum. The isozyme encoded by HMG1 induces karmellae, which are long stacks of membranes that partially enclose the nucleus. In contrast, the isozyme encoded by HMG2 induces short stacks of membrane that may be associated with the nucleus, but are frequently present at the cell periphery. To understand the molecular nature of the different cellular responses to Hmg1p and Hmg2p, we mapped the region of Hmg1p that is needed for karmellae assembly. For this analysis, a series of exchange alleles was examined in which a portion of the Hmg2p membrane domain was replaced with the corresponding Hmg1p sequences. Results of this analysis indicated that the ER lumenal loop between predicted transmembrane domains 6 and 7 was both necessary and sufficient for karmellae assembly, when present in the context of an HMG-CoA reductase membrane domain. Immunoblotting experiments ruled out the simple possibility that differences in the amounts of the various chimeric HMG-CoA reductase proteins was responsible for the altered cellular responses. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that each yeast isozyme induces or organizes a qualitatively different organization of ER membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535-1547
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995


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