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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation of mutant cells lacking Insig-1 through selection with SR-12813, an agent that stimulates degradation of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase.

Insig-1 and Insig-2 are membrane proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum that regulate lipid metabolism by the following two actions: 1) sterol-induced binding to 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, an action that leads to ubiquitination and degradation of the enzyme; and 2) sterol-induced binding to SREBP cleavage-activating protein, an action that blocks the proteolytic processing of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs), membrane-bound transcription factors that enhance the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids. Here we report the isolation of a new mutant line of Chinese hamster ovary cells, designated SRD-14, in which Insig-1 mRNA and protein are not produced due to a partial deletion of the INSIG-1 gene. The SRD-14 cells were produced by gamma-irradiation, followed by selection with the 1,1-bisphosphonate ester SR-12813, which mimics sterols in accelerating reductase degradation but does not block SREBP processing. SRD-14 cells fail to respond to sterols by promoting reductase ubiquitination and degradation. The rate at which sterols suppress SREBP processing is significantly slower in SRD-14 cells than wild type CHO-7 cells. Sterol regulation of reductase degradation and SREBP processing is restored when SRD-14 cells are transfected with expression plasmids encoding either Insig-1 or Insig-2. These results provide formal genetic proof for the essential role of Insig-1 in feedback control of lipid synthesis in cultured cells.[1]


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