Derlin family members participate in the retrotranslocation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen proteins to the cytosol for ER-associated degradation (ERAD); however, the proteins facilitating this retrotranslocation remain to be explored. Using CRISPR library screening, we have found that derlin-2 and surfeit locus protein 4 (Surf4) are candidates to facilitate degradation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2, also known as PTGS2). Our results show that derlin-2 acts upstream of derlin-1 and that Surf4 acts downstream of derlin-2 and derlin-1 to facilitate COX-2 degradation. Knockdown of derlin-2 or Surf4 impedes the ubiquitylation of COX-2 and the interaction of COX-2 with caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and p97 (also known as VCP) in the cytosol. Additionally, COX-2 degradation is N-glycosylation dependent. Although derlin-2 facilitates degradation of N-glycosylated COX-2, the interaction between derlin-2 and COX-2 is independent of COX-2 N-glycosylation. Derlin-1, Surf4 and p97 preferentially interact with non-glycosylated COX-2, whereas Cav-1 preferentially interacts with N-glycosylated COX-2, regardless of the N-glycosylation pattern. Collectively, our results reveal that Surf4 collaborates with derlin-2 and derlin-1 to mediate COX-2 translocation from the ER lumen to the cytosol. The derlin-2–derlin-1–Surf4–Cav-1 machinery might represent a unique pathway to accelerate COX-2 degradation in ERAD.

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