Endoplasmic reticulum tubules limit the size of misfolded protein condensates

Smriti Parashar, Ravi Chidambaram, Shuliang Chen, Christina R. Liem, Eric Griffis, Gerard G. Lambert, Nathan C. Shaner, Matthew Wortham, Jesse C. Hay, Susan Ferro-Novick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is composed of sheets and tubules. Here we report that the COPII coat subunit, SEC24C, works with the long form of the tubular ER-phagy receptor, RTN3, to target dominant-interfering mutant proinsulin Akita puncta to lysosomes. When the delivery of Akita puncta to lysosomes was disrupted, large puncta accumulated in the ER. Unexpectedly, photobleach analysis indicated that Akita puncta behaved as condensates and not aggregates, as previously suggested. Akita puncta enlarged when either RTN3 or SEC24C were depleted, or when ER sheets were proliferated by either knocking out Lunapark or overexpressing CLIMP63. Other ER-phagy substrates that are segregated into tubules behaved like Akita, while a substrate (type I procollagen) that is degraded by the ER-phagy sheets receptor, FAM134B, did not. Conversely, when ER tubules were augmented in Lunapark knock-out cells by overexpressing reticulons, ER-phagy increased and the number of large Akita puncta was reduced. Our findings imply that segregating cargoes into tubules has two beneficial roles. First, it localizes mutant misfolded proteins, the receptor, and SEC24C to the same ER domain. Second, physically restraining condensates within tubules, before they undergo ER-phagy, prevents them from enlarging and impacting cell health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere71642
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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