Misfolded luminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins undergo ER-associated degradation (ERAD-L): They are retrotranslocated into the cytosol, polyubiquitinated, and degraded by the proteasome. ERAD-L is mediated by the Hrd1 complex (composed of Hrd1, Hrd3, Der1, Usa1, and Yos9), but the mechanism of retrotranslocation remains mysterious. Here, we report a structure of the active Hrd1 complex, as determined by cryo-electron microscopy analysis of two subcomplexes. Hrd3 and Yos9 jointly create a luminal binding site that recognizes glycosylated substrates. Hrd1 and the rhomboid-like Der1 protein form two "half-channels" with cytosolic and luminal cavities, respectively, and lateral gates facing one another in a thinned membrane region. These structures, along with crosslinking and molecular dynamics simulation results, suggest how a polypeptide loop of an ERAD-L substrate moves through the ER membrane.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.