In eukaryotes, the synthesis and uptake of sterols undergo stringent multivalent regulation. Both individual enzymes and transcriptional networks are controlled to meet changing needs of the many sterol pathway products. Regulation is tailored by evolution to match regulatory constraints, which can be very different in distinct species. Nevertheless, a broadly conserved feature of many aspects of sterol regulation is employment of proteostasis mechanisms to bring about control of individual proteins. Proteostasis is the set of processes that maintain homeostasis of a dynamic proteome. Proteostasis includes protein quality control pathways for the detection, and then the correction or destruction, of the many misfolded proteins that arise as an unavoidable feature of protein-based life. Protein quality control displays not only the remarkable breadth needed to manage the wide variety of client molecules, but also extreme specificity toward the misfolded variants of a given protein. These features are amenable to evolutionary usurpation as a means to regulate proteins, and this approach has been used in sterol regulation. We describe both well-trod and less familiar versions of the interface between proteostasis and sterol regulation and suggest some underlying ideas with broad biological and clinical applicability.

Keyword(s): ERADHMG-CoA reductaseHrd1INSIGSCAPSSD

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