SEL1L-HRD1 ER-associated degradation suppresses hepatocyte hyperproliferation and liver cancer

Asmita Bhattacharya, Juncheng Wei, Wenxin Song, Beixue Gao, Chunyan Tian, Shuangcheng Alivia Wu, Jian Wang, Ligong Chen, Deyu Fang*, Ling Qi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various forms of cancer; however, our understanding of the role of ER quality control mechanisms in tumorigenesis remains incomplete. Here, we show that the SEL1L-HRD1 complex of ER-associated degradation (ERAD) suppresses hepatocyte proliferation and tumorigenesis in mice. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of Sel1L or Hrd1 predisposed mice to diet/chemical-induced tumors. Proteomics screen from SEL1L-deficient livers revealed WNT5A, a tumor suppressor, as an ERAD substrate. Indeed, nascent WNT5A was misfolding prone and degraded by SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD in a quality control capacity. In the absence of ERAD, WNT5A misfolds is largely retained in the ER and forms high-molecular weight aggregates, thereby depicting a loss-of-function effect and attenuating WNT5A-mediated suppression of hepatocyte proliferation. In humans, SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD expression correlated positively with survival time for patients with liver cancer. Overall, our data reveal a key role of SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD in suppressing hepatocyte proliferation and liver cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105183
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2022


  • Cancer
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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