The Nicastrin-like Protein Nicalin Regulates Assembly and Stability of the Nicalin-Nodal Modulator (NOMO) Membrane Protein Complex
The assembly of the gamma-secretase complex, an Alzheimer disease-related protease required for ß-amyloid generation, is tightly regulated and predominantly limited by the stoichiometrical availability of its components. We have identified a novel endoplasmic reticulum-located protein complex that is regulatedin a similar fashion. It contains the recently identified Nodal signaling antagonists Nicalin (a distant homolog of the gamma-secretase component Nicastrin) and NOMO (Nodal modulator). Using an RNA interference approach, we found that Nicalin and NOMO became unstable in the absence of the respective binding partner, suggesting that complex formation has a stabilizing effect. Overexpression of Nicalin resulted in an increase in NOMO, whereas endogenous Nicalin was reduced below the detection limit. Both effects were shown to occur at a post-transcriptional level. Thus, NOMO is most likely produced in excess amounts and either stabilized by Nicalin or rapidly degraded. Incontrast, Nicalin levels are limited independently of NOMO. We, therefore, propose that Nicalin controls the assembly andstability of the Nicalin-NOMO complex.