Geranylgeranyl-regulated transport of the prenyltransferase UBIAD1 between membranes of the ER and Golgi

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29 Scopus citations


UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing protein-1 (UBIAD1) utilizes geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGpp) to synthesize the vitamin K2 subtype menaquinone-4. Previously, we found that sterols trigger binding of UBIAD1 to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in synthesis of cholesterol and nonsterol isoprenoids, including GGpp. This binding inhibits sterol-accelerated degradation of reductase, which contributes to feedback regulation of the enzyme. The addition to cells of geranylgeraniol (GGOH), which can become converted to GGpp, triggers release of UBIAD1 from reductase, allowing for its maximal degradation and permitting ER-to-Golgi transport of UBIAD1. Here, we further characterize geranylgeranyl-regulated transport of UBIAD1. Results of this characterization support a model in which UBIAD1 continuously cycles between the ER and medial-trans Golgi of isoprenoid-replete cells. Upon sensing a decline of GGpp in ER membranes, UBIAD1 becomes trapped in the organelle where it inhibits reductase degradation. Mutant forms of UBIAD1 associated with Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD), a human eye disease characterized by corneal accumulation of cholesterol, are sequestered in the ER and block reductase degradation. Collectively, these findings disclose a novel sensing mechanism that allows for stringent metabolic control of intracellular trafficking of UBIAD1, which directly modulates reductase degradation and becomes disrupted in SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1286-1299
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Isoprenoid
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Protein trafficking
  • UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing protein-1
  • Vitamin K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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