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Since the first genetic description of a rhomboid in Drosophila melanogaster, tremendous efforts have been geared towards elucidating the proteolytic mechanism of this particular class of intramembrane proteases. In particular, mammalian rhomboid proteases sparked our interest and we aimed to investigate the human homologue RHBDL4. In light of our recent finding of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) family as efficient substrates of RHBDL4, we were enticed to further study the specific proteolytic mechanism of this enzyme by comparing cleavage patterns of wild type APP and APP TMS chimeras. Here, we demonstrate that the introduction of positively charged amino acid residues in the TMS redirects the RHBDL4-mediated cleavage of APP from its ectodomain closer towards the TMS, possibly inducing an ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of the substrate. In addition, we concluded that the cytoplasmic tail and proposed palmitoylation sites in the ectodomain of APP are not essential for the RHBDL4-mediated APP processing. In summary, our previously identified APP ectodomain cleavages by RHBDL4 are a subsidiary mechanism to the proposed RHBDL4-mediated ERAD of substrates likely through a single cleavage near or within the TMS.


Sherilyn Junelle Recinto, Sandra Paschkowsky, Lisa Marie Munter. An alternative processing pathway of APP reveals two distinct cleavage modes for rhomboid protease RHBDL4. Biological chemistry. 2018 Nov 27;399(12):1399-1408

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PMID: 30171808

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