Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 60, Issue 8, pp 539–549 | Cite as

Application of NanoBiT for Monitoring Dimerization of the Null Hong Kong Variant of α-1-Antitrypsin, NHK, in Living Cells

  • Junpei Norisada
  • Keito Fujimura
  • Fumimasa Amaya
  • Hiroki Kohno
  • Yoko Hirata
  • Kentaro Oh-hashiEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, we investigated expression and dimerization of an ER-associated degradation (ERAD) substrate, a null Hong Kong variant of α-1-antitrypsin (NHK) using immunoblotting assay and a novel NanoLuc complementary reporter system called the NanoBiT (NB) assay. This NB-tagged NHK made it possible to monitor the intra- and extracellular status of NHK in living cells. The values for this NB assay fluctuated in response to distinct pharmacological stimuli and co-transfection of several ERAD-related factors. We then focused on mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), an unclarified ATF6/IRE1-downstream target, and established MANF-deficient Neuro2a (N2a) cells using CRISPR/Cas9 system. MANF-deficient N2a significantly elevated OS-9 protein after tunicamycin treatment; however, no specific differences in intra- and extracellular status of NHK protein were observed between wild-type and MANF-deficient cells. Taken together, intrinsic MANF in N2a cells is not strongly associated with the accumulation and clearance of unfolded proteins within the ER under current condition, but this novel NB assay is a useful approach for characterizing the protein status including ERAD substrates.


MANF ER stress ERAD NanoBiT UPR 



We thank Dr. Nobuko Hosokawa for the critical reading of this manuscript. We are grateful to Dr. Wei Liu and Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Dr. Maurizio Molinari, Dr. Nobuko Hosokawa, Dr. Kazuhiro Nagata and Promega Corporation for providing the HA-tagged Sar1 (H79G), OS-9 and NHK genes and NB assay system, respectively. This work is, in part, supported by Research Fellowships for Young Scientists (to J.N.), Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research (No. 17K19901 to K.O.), Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research (No. 26670692, to F.A.), and the OGAWA Science and Technology Foundation (to K.O.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junpei Norisada
    • 1
  • Keito Fujimura
    • 2
  • Fumimasa Amaya
    • 3
  • Hiroki Kohno
    • 2
  • Yoko Hirata
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kentaro Oh-hashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.United Graduate School of Drug Discovery and Medical Information SciencesGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Faculty of EngineeringGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan

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