Autosomal-dominant Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) is characterized by corneal opacification owing to overaccumulation of cholesterol. SCD is caused by mutations in UBIAD1, which utilizes geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGpp) to synthesize vitamin K2. Using cultured cells, we previously showed that sterols trigger binding of UBIAD1 to the cholesterol biosynthetic enzyme HMG CoA reductase (HMGCR), thereby inhibiting its endoplasmic reticulum (ER)- associated degradation (ERAD) (Schumacher et al. 2015). GGpp triggers release of UBIAD1 from HMGCR, allowing maximal ERAD and ER-to-Golgi transport of UBIAD1. SCD-associated UBIAD1 resists GGpp-induced release and is sequestered in ER to inhibit ERAD. We now report knockin mice expressing SCD-associated UBIAD1 accumulate HMGCR in several tissues resulting from ER sequestration of mutant UBIAD1 and inhibition of HMGCR ERAD. Corneas from aged knockin mice exhibit signs of opacification and sterol overaccumulation. These results establish the physiological significance of UBIAD1 in cholesterol homeostasis and indicate inhibition of HMGCR ERAD contributes to SCD pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience
- General Immunology and Microbiology
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology