WNT signalling is important for development in all metazoan animals and is associated with various human diseases. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS) and regulatory ER-associated degradation (ERAD) have been implicated in the production of WNT proteins. Here, we investigated how the WNT secretory factor EVI/WLS is ubiquitinated, recognised by ERAD components and subsequently removed from the secretory pathway. We performed a focused, immunoblot-based RNAi screen for factors that influence EVI/WLS protein stability. We identified the VCP-binding proteins FAF2 and UBXN4 as novel interaction partners of EVI/WLS and showed that ERLIN2 links EVI/WLS to the ubiquitination machinery. Interestingly, we found in addition that EVI/WLS is ubiquitinated and degraded in cells irrespective of their level of WNT production. This K11, K48, and K63-linked ubiquitination is mediated by the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes UBE2J2, UBE2K, and UBE2N, but independent of the E3 ligases HRD1/SYVN or GP78/AMFR. Taken together, our study identified factors that link the UPS to the WNT secretory pathway and provides mechanistic details on the fate of an endogenous substrate of regulatory ERAD in mammalian cells.

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