Molecular biology of the cell

OS-9 facilitates turnover of nonnative GRP94 marked by hyperglycosylation.

PMID 24899641


The tight coupling of protein folding pathways with disposal mechanisms promotes the efficacy of protein production in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). It has been hypothesized that the ER-resident molecular chaperone glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94) is part of this quality control coupling because it supports folding of select client proteins yet also robustly associates with the lectin osteosarcoma amplified 9 (OS-9), a component involved in ER-associated degradation (ERAD). To explore this possibility, we investigated potential functions for the GRP94/OS-9 complex in ER quality control. Unexpectedly, GRP94 does not collaborate with OS-9 in ERAD of misfolded substrates, nor is the chaperone required directly for OS-9 folding. Instead, OS-9 binds preferentially to a subpopulation of GRP94 that is hyperglycosylated on cryptic N-linked glycan acceptor sites. Hyperglycosylated GRP94 forms have nonnative conformations and are less active. As a result, these species are degraded much faster than the major, monoglycosylated form of GRP94 in an OS-9-mediated, ERAD-independent, lysosomal-like mechanism. This study therefore clarifies the role of the GRP94/OS-9 complex and describes a novel pathway by which glycosylation of cryptic acceptor sites influences the function and fate of an ER-resident chaperone.