The Journal of biological chemistry

Thyroglobulin transport along the secretory pathway. Investigation of the role of molecular chaperone, GRP94, in protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum.

PMID 9334173


GRP94 serves as a molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In normal thyrocytes, GRP94 interacts transiently with thyroglobulin (Tg), and in thyrocytes of animals suffering from congenital hypothyroid goiter with defective thyroglobulin, GRP94 and thyroglobulin associate in a protracted fashion. In order explore possible consequences of GRP94 binding, we have studied recombinant nonmutant thyroglobulin expressed in control Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells in comparison to that produced in CHO cells genetically manipulated for selectively increased GRP94 expression. Levels of ER chaperones other than GRP94 did not detectably differ, and thyroglobulin achieved transport competence in both kinds of CHO cells. However, increased availability of GRP94 caused the residence time of Tg in the ER to be remarkably prolonged. This was accompanied by a major increase in Tg directly associated with GRP94 and an increase in the ER pool size of Tg. Importantly, co-immunoprecipitation analysis revealed disulfide-linked Tg complexes (previously reported as an early Tg-folding intermediate) especially associated with GRP94. Indeed, non-native Tg, GRP94, and a 78-kDa protein likely to be BiP, appeared in ternary complexes. Under these conditions, GRP94 association appears directly involved in prolongation of Tg folding and export, consistent with a role in quality control in the ER.