Assembly of ACh receptors is under tight quality control. Only functional ACh receptors are expressed on the cell surface; unassembled subunits are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In a recent elegant study, Wang and colleagues have identified a novel motif in the M1 domain of the ACh-receptor subunit that is responsible for ER retention and degradation of unassembled subunits. This signal appears to play an important role in regulating surface trafficking of functional ACh receptors.
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