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Folding-Degradation Relationship of a Membrane Protein Mediated by the Universally Conserved ATP-Dependent Protease FtsH

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journal contribution
posted on 12.03.2018, 00:00 authored by Yiqing Yang, Ruiqiong Guo, Kristen Gaffney, Miyeon Kim, Shaima Muhammednazaar, Wei Tian, Boshen Wang, Jie Liang, Heedeok Hong
ATP-dependent protein degradation mediated by AAA+ proteases is one of the major cellular pathways for protein quality control and regulation of functional networks. While a majority of studies of protein degradation have focused on water-soluble proteins, it is not well understood how membrane proteins with abnormal conformation are selectively degraded. The knowledge gap stems from the lack of an in vitro system in which detailed molecular mechanisms can be studied as well as difficulties in studying membrane protein folding in lipid bilayers. To quantitatively define the folding-degradation relationship of membrane proteins, we reconstituted the degradation using the conserved membrane-integrated AAA+ protease FtsH as a model degradation machine and the stable helical-bundle membrane protein GlpG as a model substrate in the lipid bilayer environment. We demonstrate that FtsH possesses a substantial ability to actively unfold GlpG, and the degradation significantly depends on the stability and hydrophobicity near the degradation marker. We find that FtsH hydrolyzes 380–550 ATP molecules to degrade one copy of GlpG. Remarkably, FtsH overcomes the dual-energetic burden of substrate unfolding and membrane dislocation with the ATP cost comparable to that for water-soluble substrates by robust ClpAP/XP proteases. The physical principles elucidated in this study provide general insights into membrane protein degradation mediated by ATP-dependent proteolytic systems.