• Proteasome;
  • SCD-EDS;
  • VCP ;
  • zinc transporter;
  • ZIP13


The zinc transporter protein ZIP13 plays critical roles in bone, tooth, and connective tissue development, and its dysfunction is responsible for the spondylocheirodysplastic form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (SCD-EDS, OMIM 612350). Here, we report the molecular pathogenic mechanism of SCD-EDS caused by two different mutant ZIP13 proteins found in human patients: ZIP13G64D, in which Gly at amino acid position 64 is replaced by Asp, and ZIP13ΔFLA, which contains a deletion of Phe-Leu-Ala. We demonstrated that both the ZIP13G64D and ZIP13ΔFLA protein levels are decreased by degradation via the valosin-containing protein (VCP)-linked ubiquitin proteasome pathway. The inhibition of degradation pathways rescued the protein expression levels, resulting in improved intracellular Zn homeostasis. Our findings uncover the pathogenic mechanisms elicited by mutant ZIP13 proteins. Further elucidation of these degradation processes may lead to novel therapeutic targets for SCD-EDS.


Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The Spondylocheirodysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome pathogenic ZIP13 mutants are degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Inhibition of this pathway restores ZIP13 levels with consequent improvement of intracellular Zn homeostasis.

  • The Spondylocheirodysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome pathogenic ZIP13 mutant proteins: ZIP13G64D and ZIP13ΔFLA, are degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.
  • Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is involved in the degradation of the pathogenic mutant ZIP13 proteins.
  • The reduced expression levels of the ZIP13 mutant proteins are rescued by inhibition of the degradation pathways, resulting in improved intracellular zinc homeostasis.