The selective post-translational processing of transcription factor Nrf1 yields distinct isoforms that dictate its ability to differentially regulate gene expression

Yiguo Zhang (Lead / Corresponding author), Shaojun Li, Yuancai Xiang, Lu Qiu, Huakan Zhao, John D. Hayes

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    Upon translation, the N-terminal homology box 1 (NHB1) signal anchor sequence of Nrf1 integrates it within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) whilst its transactivation domains [TADs, including acidic domain 1 (AD1), the flanking Asn/Ser/Thr-rich (NST) domain and AD2] are transiently translocated into the ER lumen, whereupon the NST domain is glycosylated to yield an inactive 120-kDa glycoprotein. Subsequently, these TADs are retrotranslocated into extra-luminal subcellular compartments, where Nrf1 is deglycosylated to yield an active 95-kDa isoform. Herein, we report that AD1 and AD2 are required for the stability of the 120-kDa Nrf1 glycoprotein, but not that of the non-glycosylated/de-glycosylated 95-kDa isoform. Degrons within AD1 do not promote proteolytic degradation of the 120-kDa Nrf1 glycoprotein. However, repositioning of AD2-adjoining degrons (i.e. DSGLS-containing SDS1 and PEST2 sequences) into the cyto/nucleoplasm enables selective topovectorial processing of Nrf1 by the proteasome and/or calpains to generate a cleaved active 85-kDa Nrf1 or a dominant-negative 36-kDa Nrf1γ. Production of Nrf1γ is abolished by removal of SDS1 or PEST2 degrons, whereas production of the cleaved 85-kDa Nrf1 is blocked by deletion of the ER luminal-anchoring NHB2 sequence (aa 81–106). Importantly, Nrf1 activity is positively and/or negatively regulated by distinct doses of proteasome and calpain inhibitors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number12983
    Number of pages30
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2015

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