Protein mono-ADP-ribosylation is a reversible post-translational modification of cellular proteins. This scheme of amino-acid modification is used not only by bacterial toxins to attack host cells, but also by endogenous ADP-ribosyltransferases (ARTs) in mammalian cells. These latter ARTs include members of three different families of proteins: the well characterised arginine-specific ecto-enzymes (ARTCs), two sirtuins, and some members of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP/ARTD) family. In the present study, we demonstrate that human ARTC1 is localised to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), in contrast to the previously characterised ARTC proteins, which are typical GPI-anchored ecto-enzymes. Moreover, using the "macro domain" cognitive binding module to identify ADP-ribosylated proteins, we show here that the ER luminal chaperone GRP78/BiP (glucose-regulated protein of 78 kDa/immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein) is a cellular target of human ARTC1 and hamster ARTC2. We further developed a procedure to visualise ADP-ribosylated proteins using immunofluorescence. With this approach, in cells overexpressing ARTC1, we detected staining of the ER that co-localises with GRP78/BiP, thus confirming that this modification occurs in living cells. In line with the key role of GRP78/BiP in the ER stress response system, we provide evidence here that ARTC1 is activated during the ER stress response, which results in acute ADP-ribosylation of GRP78/BiP paralleling translational inhibition. Thus, this identification of ARTC1 as a regulator of GRP78/BiP defines a novel, previously unsuspected, player in GRP78-mediated ER stress responses.
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