© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) accompanies ER stress and causes the type-I transmembrane protein Ire1 (also known as ERN1) to trigger the unfolded protein response (UPR). When dimerized, the core stress-sensing region (CSSR) of Ire1 directly captures unfolded proteins and forms a high-order oligomer, leading to clustering and activation of Ire1. The CSSR is N-terminally flanked by an intrinsically disordered subdomain, which we previously named Subregion I, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ire1. In this study, we describe tight repression of Ire1 activity by Subregion I under conditions of no or weak stress. Weak hyperactivation of an Ire1 mutant lacking Subregion I slightly retarded growth of yeast cells cultured under unstressed conditions. Fungal Ire1 orthologs and the animal Ire1 family protein PERK (also known as EIF2AK3) carry N-terminal intrinsically disordered subdomains with a similar structure and function to that of Subregion I. Our observations presented here cumulatively indicate that Subregion I is captured by the CSSR as an unfolded protein substrate. This intramolecular subdomain interaction is likely to compromise self-association of the CSSR, explaining why Subregion I can suppress Ire1 activity when ER-accumulated unfolded proteins are not abundant.
Mathuranyanon, R., Tsukamoto, T., Takeuchi, A., Ishiwata-Kimata, Y., Tsuchiya, Y., Kohno, K., & Kimata, Y. (2015). Tight regulation of the unfolded protein sensor Ire1 by its intramolecularly antagonizing subdomain. Journal of Cell Science, 128(9), 1762–1772. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.164111