Identification of MKRN1 as a second E3 ligase for Eag1 potassium channels reveals regulation via differential degradation

Ya Ching Fang, Ssu Ju Fu, Po Hao Hsu, Pei Tzu Chang, Jing Jia Huang, Yi Chih Chiu, Yi Fan Liao, Guey Mei Jow, Chih Yung Tang*, Chung-Jiuan Jeng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mutations in the human gene encoding the neuron-specific Eag1 voltage-gated K+ channel are associated with neurodevelopmental diseases, indicating an important role of Eag1 during brain development. A disease-causing Eag1 mutation is linked to decreased protein stability that involves enhanced protein degradation by the E3 ubiquitin ligase cullin 7 (CUL7). The general mechanisms governing protein homeostasis of plasma membrane- and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized Eag1 K+ channels, however, remain unclear. By using yeast two-hybrid screening, we identified another E3 ubiquitin ligase, makorin ring finger protein 1 (MKRN1), as a novel binding partner primarily interacting with the carboxyl-terminal region of Eag1. MKRN1 mainly interacts with ER-localized immature core-glycosylated, as well as nascent nonglycosylated, Eag1 proteins. MKRN1 promotes polyubiquitination and ER-associated proteasomal degradation of immature Eag1 proteins. Although both CUL7 and MKRN1 contribute to ER quality control of immature core-glycosylated Eag1 proteins, MKRN1, but not CUL7, associates with and promotes degradation of nascent, nonglycosylated Eag1 proteins at the ER. In direct contrast to the role of CUL7 in regulating both ER and peripheral quality controls of Eag1, MKRN1 is exclusively responsible for the early stage of Eag1 maturation at the ER. We further demonstrated that both CUL7 and MKRN1 contribute to protein quality control of additional disease-causing Eag1 mutants associated with defective protein homeostasis. Our data suggest that the presence of this dual ubiquitination system differentially maintains Eag1 protein homeostasis and may ensure efficient removal of disease-associated misfolded Eag1 mutant channels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100484
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • ubiquitin ligase
  • protein degradation
  • potassium channel
  • ER-associated degradation
  • ER quality control
  • glycosylation
  • homeostasis


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