Signal peptide peptidase is required for dislocation from the endoplasmic reticulum

Joana Loureiro, Brendan N. Lilley, Eric Spooner, Vanessa Noriega, Domenico Tortorella, Hidde L. Ploegh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) prevents the display of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) peptide complexes at the surface of infected cells as a means of escaping immune detection. Two HCMV-encoded immunoevasins, US2 and US11, induce the dislocation of class I MHC heavy chains from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and target them for proteasomal degradation in the cytosol. Although the outcome of the dislocation reactions catalysed is similar, US2 and US11 operate differently: Derlin-1 is a key component of the US11 but not the US2 pathway. So far, proteins essential for US2-dependent dislocation have not been identified. Here we compare interacting partners of wild-type US2 with those of a dislocation-incompetent US2 mutant, and identify signal peptide peptidase (SPP) as a partner for the active form of US2. We show that a decrease in SPP levels by RNA-mediated interference inhibits heavy-chain dislocation by US2 but not by US11. Our data implicate SPP in the US2 pathway and indicate the possibility of a previously unknown function for this intramembrane-cleaving aspartic protease in dislocation from the endoplasmic reticulum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-897
Number of pages4
Issue number7095
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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