The Journal of biological chemistry

A novel link between Fic (filamentation induced by cAMP)-mediated adenylylation/AMPylation and the unfolded protein response.

PMID 25601083


The maintenance of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis is a critical aspect of determining cell fate and requires a properly functioning unfolded protein response (UPR). We have discovered a previously unknown role of a post-translational modification termed adenylylation/AMPylation in regulating signal transduction events during UPR induction. A family of enzymes, defined by the presence of a Fic (filamentation induced by cAMP) domain, catalyzes this adenylylation reaction. The human genome encodes a single Fic protein, called HYPE (Huntingtin yeast interacting protein E), with adenylyltransferase activity but unknown physiological target(s). Here, we demonstrate that HYPE localizes to the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum via its hydrophobic N terminus and adenylylates the ER molecular chaperone, BiP, at Ser-365 and Thr-366. BiP functions as a sentinel for protein misfolding and maintains ER homeostasis. We found that adenylylation enhances BiP's ATPase activity, which is required for refolding misfolded proteins while coping with ER stress. Accordingly, HYPE expression levels increase upon stress. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown of HYPE prevents the induction of an unfolded protein response. Thus, we identify HYPE as a new UPR regulator and provide the first functional data for Fic-mediated adenylylation in mammalian signaling.