When expressed in the absence of light chains, secretory Ig-µ chains (µs) undergo endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD). This process involves the recognition of terminally misfolded or unassembled molecules, their retro-translocation across the ER membrane and ubiquitination for degradation by cytosolic proteasomes. The molecular components of the ERAD pathway and their coordination remain largely unknown. Here we employed co-immunoprecipitation, silencing or over-expression assays to show that SEL1L and HRD1 are involved in the degradation of unassembled Ig-µs, but have minor effects on another substrate, TCR-α. SEL1L and HRD1 localize in the early secretory apparatus and are induced by ER stress and during B cell differentiation, concomitantly with the onset of massive IgM secretion. These findings reveal a role for SEL1L and HRD1 in IgM quality control. J. Cell. Physiol. 215: 794–802, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.