CRL4Cdt2 is a cullin-based E3 ubiquitin ligase that promotes the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of various substrates implicated in the control of cell cycle and various DNA metabolic processes such as DNA replication and repair. Substrates for CRL4Cdt2 E3 ubiquitin ligase include the replication licensing factor Cdt1 and the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p21. Inhibition of this E3 ligase leads to serious abnormalities of the cell cycle and cell death. The ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBC) involved in this important pathway, however, remains unknown. By a proteomic analysis of Cdt2-associated proteins and an RNA interference-based screening approach, we show that CRL4Cdt2 utilizes two different UBCs to target different substrates. UBCH8, a member of the UBE2E family of UBCs, ubiquitylates and promotes the degradation of p21, both during the normal cell cycle and in UV-irradiated cells. Importantly, depletion of UBCH8 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) increases p21 protein level, delays entry into S phase of the cell cycle, and suppresses the DNA damage response after UV irradiation. On the other hand, members of the UBE2G family of UBCs (UBE2G1 and UBE2G2) cooperate with CRL4Cdt2 to polyubiquitylate and degrade Cdt1 postradiation, an activity that is critical for preventing origin licensing in DNA-damaged cells. Finally, we show that UBCH8, but not UBE2G1 or UBE2G2, is required for CRL4Cdt2-mediated ubiquitylation and degradation of the histone H4 lysine 20 monomethyltransferase Set8, a previously identified CRL4Cdt2 substrate, as well as for CRL4Cdt2-dependent monoubiquitylation of PCNA in unstressed cells. These findings identify the UBCs required for the activity of CRL4Cdt2 on multiple substrates and demonstrate that different UBCs are involved in the selective ubiquitylation of different substrates by the same E3 complex.
Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) and other high-risk HPVs are etiologically linked to the development of cervical carcinomas and contribute to a number of other tumors of the anogenital tract, as well as oral cancers. The high-risk HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins are consistently expressed in cervical cancer cells and are necessary for the induction and maintenance of the transformed phenotype. An important aspect of HPV16 E7's oncogenic activities is destabilization of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (pRB) through a ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent mechanism, although the exact molecular mechanism is unknown. Here, we report that HPV16 E7 is associated with an enzymatically active cullin 2 ubiquitin ligase complex and that the HPV16 E7/pRB complex contains cullin 2. Depletion of cullin 2 by RNA interference causes increased steady-state levels and stability of pRB in HPV16 E7-expressing cells, and ectopic expression of HPV16 E7 and the cullin 2 complex leads to pRB ubiquitination in vivo. Hence, we propose that the HPV16 E7-associated cullin 2 ubiquitin ligase complex contributes to aberrant degradation of the pRB tumor suppressor in HPV16 E7-expressing cells.
An overabundance of UbcH10 disrupts mitotic checkpoint signaling as a result of a degradation of cyclin B, increasing spontaneous and carcinogen-induced tumor formation in transgenic mice.
The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) E3 ubiquitin ligase functions with the E2 ubiquitin–conjugating enzyme UbcH10 in the orderly progression through mitosis by marking key mitotic regulators for destruction by the 26-S proteasome. UbcH10 is overexpressed in many human cancer types and is associated with tumor progression. However, whether UbcH10 overexpression causes tumor formation is unknown. To address this central question and to define the molecular and cellular consequences of UbcH10 overexpression, we generated a series of transgenic mice in which UbcH10 was overexpressed in graded fashion. In this study, we show that UbcH10 overexpression leads to precocious degradation of cyclin B by the APC/C, supernumerary centrioles, lagging chromosomes, and aneuploidy. Importantly, we find that UbcH10 transgenic mice are prone to carcinogen-induced lung tumors and a broad spectrum of spontaneous tumors. Our results identify UbcH10 as a prominent protooncogene that causes whole chromosome instability and tumor formation over a wide gradient of overexpression levels.
Many biological processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, and cell death depend precisely on the timely synthesis and degradation of key regulatory proteins. While protein synthesis can be regulated at multiple levels, protein degradation is mainly controlled by the ubiquitin—proteasome system (UPS), which consists of two distinct steps: (1) ubiquitylation of targeted protein by E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme, E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme and E3 ubiquitin ligase, and (2) subsequent degradation by the 26S proteasome. Among all E3 ubiquitin ligases, the SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box protein) E3 ligases are the largest family and are responsible for the turnover of many key regulatory proteins. Aberrant regulation of SCF E3 ligases is associated with various human diseases, such as cancers, including skin cancer. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of all currently published data to define a promoting role of SCF E3 ligases in the development of skin cancer. The future directions in this area of research are also discussed with an ultimate goal to develop small molecule inhibitors of SCF E3 ligases as a novel approach for the treatment of human skin cancer. Furthermore, altered components or substrates of SCF E3 ligases may also be developed as the biomarkers for early diagnosis or predicting prognosis.
Carcinogenesis; F-box proteins; RING proteins; SCF E3 ligases; Skin; Ubiquitin ligases
Cancer cells can survive through the upregulation of cell cycle and the escape from apoptosis induced by numerous cellular stresses. In the normal cells, these biological cascades depend on scheduled proteolytic degradation of regulatory proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Therefore, interruption of regulated proteolytic pathways leads to abnormal cell-proliferation. Ubiquitin ligases called SCF complex (consisting of Skp-1, cullin, and F-box protein) or CRL (cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase) are predominant in a family of E3 ubiquitin ligases that control a final step in ubiquitination of diverse substrates. To a great extent, the ubiquitin ligase activity of the SCF complex requires the conjugation of NEDD8 to cullins, i.e. scaffold proteins. This review is anticipated to review the downregulation system of NEDD8 conjugation by several factors including a chemical compound such as MLN4924 and protein molecules (e.g. COP9 signalosome, inactive mutant of Ubc12, and NUB1/NUB1L). Since the downregulation of NEDD8 conjugation affects cell cycle progression by inhibiting the ligase activity of SCF complexes, such knowledge in the NEDD8 conjugation pathway will contribute to the more magnificent therapies that selectively suppress tumorigenesis.
Ubiquitination; SCF complex; NEDD8; MLN4924; Ubc12; NUB1
SCF (Skp1–cullin/Cdc53–F-box protein) ubiquitin ligases bind substrates via the variable F-box protein and, in conjunction with the RING domain protein Rbx1 and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc3/Cdc34, catalyze substrate ubiquitination. The cullin subunit can be modified covalently by conjugation of the ubiquitin-like protein Rub1/NEDD8 (neddylation) or bound noncovalently by the protein CAND1 (cullin-associated, neddylation-dissociated). Expression of the Candida albicans CAND1 gene homolog CaTIP120 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is toxic only in the presence of CaCdc53, consistent with a specific interaction between CaTip120 and CaCdc53. To genetically analyze this system in C. albicans, we deleted the homologs of RUB1/NEDD8, TIP120/CAND1, and the deneddylase gene JAB1, and we also generated a temperature-sensitive allele of the essential CaCDC53 gene by knock-in site-directed mutagenesis. Deletion of CaRUB1 and CaTIP120 caused morphological, growth, and protein degradation phenotypes consistent with a reduction in SCF ubiquitin ligase activity. Furthermore, the double Carub1−/− Catip120−/− mutant was more defective in SCF activity than either individual deletion mutant. These results indicate that CAND1 stimulates SCF ubiquitin ligase activity and that it does so independently of neddylation. Our data do not support a role for CAND1 in the protection of either the F-box protein or cullin from degradation but are consistent with the suggested role of CAND1 in SCF complex remodeling.
The circadian clock is the endogenous timer that coordinates physiological processes with daily and seasonal environmental changes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, establishment of the circadian period relies on targeted degradation of TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (TOC1) by the 26S proteasome. ZEITLUPE (ZTL) is the F-box protein that associates with the SCF (Skp/Cullin/F-box) E3 ubiquitin ligase that is responsible for marking TOC1 for turnover. CULLIN1 (CUL1) is a core component of SCF complexes and is involved in multiple signaling pathways. To assess the contribution of CUL1-containing SCF complexes to signaling within the plant oscillator, circadian rhythms were examined in the recessive, temperature-sensitive CUL1 allele axr6-3. The activity of CUL1 in this mutant declines progressively with increasing ambient temperature, resulting in more severe defects in CUL1-dependent activities at elevated temperature. Examination of circadian rhythms in axr6-3 revealed circadian phenotypes comparable to those observed in ztl null mutants; namely, lengthened circadian period, altered expression of core oscillator genes, and limited degradation of TOC1. In addition, treatment of seedlings with exogenous auxin did not alter TOC1 stability. These results demonstrate that CUL1 is required for TOC1 degradation and further suggest that this protein is the functional cullin for the SCFZTL complex.
circadian rhythms; CUL1; post-translational regulation; ubiquitin ligase; proteasome; Arabidopsis
The human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV-18) E2 gene is inactivated in cervical carcinoma after integration of the viral DNA into the host cellular genome. Since E2 represses the transcription of the two viral oncogenes E6 and E7, integration which allows their strong expression is considered a major step in transformation by HPV. We show here that E2 is specifically degraded at the end of the G1 phase in a Brd4-independent manner, implying that its regulatory functions are cell cycle dependent. Degradation of E2 occurs via the Skp1/Cullin1/F-box Skp2 (SCFSkp2) ubiquitin ligase, since silencing of Skp2 induces stabilization of E2. In addition, the amino-terminal domain of E2 can interact with Skp2 as shown by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. We previously showed that E2 inhibits the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) ubiquitin ligase, leading to accumulation of several of its substrates. We demonstrate here that Skp2, which is a known APC/C substrate in G1, is also stabilized by E2. Therefore, by negative feedback, SCFSkp2 activation could lead to E2 degradation and E6/E7 expression specifically in the late G1 phase. Moreover, since the SCFSkp2 can trigger S-phase entry and Skp2 itself is a known oncogene, we believe that E2-mediated accumulation of Skp2, together with E2 degradation leading to putative release of E6 and E7 inhibition, could induce premature S-phase entry in HPV-infected cells, pointing to a direct role of E2 in the early steps of HPV-mediated transformation.
Human E4B, also called UFD2a, is a U-box-containing protein that functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase and an E4 polyubiquitin chain elongation factor. E4B is thought to participate in the proteasomal degradation of misfolded or damaged proteins through association with chaperones. The U-box domain is an anchor site for E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes but little is known of the binding mechanism. Using X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, we determined the structures of E4B U-box free and bound to UbcH5c and Ubc4 E2s. While previously characterized U-box domains are homodimeric, we show that E4B U-box is a monomer stabilized by a network of hydrogen bonds identified from scalar coupling measurements. These structural studies, complemented by calorimetry- and NMR-based binding assays, suggest an allosteric regulation of UbcH5c and Ubc4 by E4B U-Box and provide a molecular basis to understand how the ubiquitylation machinery involving E4B assembles.
SCF ubiquitin ligases share the core subunits cullin 1, SKP1, and HRT1/RBX1/ROC1, which associate with different F-box proteins. F-box proteins bind substrates following their phosphorylation upon stimulation of various signaling pathways. Ubiquitin-mediated destruction of the fission yeast cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor Rum1p depends on two heterooligomerizing F-box proteins, Pop1p and Pop2p. Both proteins interact with the cullin Pcu1p when overexpressed, but it is unknown whether this reflects their co-assembly into bona fide SCF complexes.
We have identified Psh1p and Pip1p, the fission yeast homologues of human SKP1 and HRT1/RBX1/ROC1, and show that both associate with Pop1p, Pop2p, and Pcu1p into a ~500 kDa SCFPop1p-Pop2p complex, which supports polyubiquitylation of Rum1p. Only the F-box of Pop1p is required for SCFPop1p-Pop2p function, while Pop2p seems to be attracted into the complex through binding to Pop1p. Since all SCFPop1p-Pop2p subunits, except for Pop1p, which is exclusively nuclear, localize to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, the F-box of Pop2p may be critical for the assembly of cytoplasmic SCFPop2p complexes. In support of this notion, we demonstrate individual SCFPop1p and SCFPop2p complexes bearing ubiquitin ligase activity.
Our data suggest that distinct homo- and heterooligomeric assemblies of Pop1p and Pop2p generate combinatorial diversity of SCFPop function in fission yeast. Whereas a heterooligomeric SCFPop1p-Pop2p complex mediates polyubiquitylation of Rum1p, homooligomeric SCFPop1p and SCFPop2p complexes may target unknown nuclear and cytoplasmic substrates.
The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is required for normal cell proliferation, vertebrate development, and cancer cell transformation. The UPS consists of multiple proteins that work in concert to target a protein for degradation via the 26S proteasome. Chains of an 8.5-kDa protein called ubiquitin are attached to substrates, thus allowing recognition by the 26S proteasome. Enzymes called ubiquitin ligases or E3s mediate specific attachment to substrates. Although there are over 600 different ubiquitin ligases, the Skp1–Cullin–F-box (SCF) complexes and the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) are the most studied. SCF involvement in cancer has been known for some time while APC/C’s cancer role has recently emerged. In this review we will discuss the importance of APC/C to normal cell proliferation and development, underscoring its possible contribution to transformation. We will also examine the hypothesis that modulating a specific interaction of the APC/C may be therapeutically attractive in specific cancer subtypes. Finally, given that the APC/C pathway is relatively new as a cancer target, therapeutic interventions affecting APC/C activity may be beneficial in cancers that are resistant to classical chemotherapy.
ubiquitin; cell cycle; differentiation; cancer; ubiquitin ligase; cancer therapy
SCF ubiquitin ligases target numerous proteins for ubiquitin dependent proteolysis, including p27 and cyclin E. SCF and other cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) are regulated by the ubiquitin-like protein Nedd8 that covalently modifies the cullin subunit. The removal of Nedd8 is catalyzed by the Jab1/MPN domain metalloenzyme (JAMM) motif within the Csn5 subunit of the Cop9 Signalosome.
Here, we conditionally knock down Csn5 expression in HEK293 human cells using a doxycycline-inducible shRNA system. Cullin levels were not altered in CSN-deficient human cells, but the levels of multiple F-box proteins were decreased. Molecular analysis indicates that this decrease was due to increased Cul1- and proteasome-dependent turnover. Diminished F-box levels resulted in reduced SCF activity, as evidenced by accumulation of two substrates of the F-box protein Fbw7, cyclin E and c-myc, in Csn5-depleted cells.
We propose that deneddylation of Cul1 is required to sustain optimal activity of SCF ubiquitin ligases by repressing 'autoubiquitination' of F-box proteins within SCF complexes, thereby rescuing them from premature degradation.
The SCF (Skp1-Cullins-F box proteins), also known as CRL (Cullin-based RING ligase), is the largest family of E3 ubiquitin ligases that mediate ~20% ubiquitinated protein substrates for 26S proteasome degradation. Through promoting timely degradation of many key regulatory proteins, SCF E3 ligase controls numerous cellular processes; its dysfunction contributes to a number of human diseases, including cancer. The RING component of SCF complex consists of two family members, RBX1 (RING box protein-1), also known as ROC1 (Regulator of Cullins) and RBX2/ROC2 (also known as SAG, Sensitive to Apoptosis Gene), both of which are essential for the catalytic activity of SCF. RBX1 and RBX2 are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to humans and play an essential role during mouse embryonic development. Moreover, RBX1 and RBX2 are both overexpressed in multiple human cancer tissues and required for the growth and survival of cancer cells. In this review, we will discuss the similarities and differences between two RING family members, their regulation of SCF E3 ligase activity, and their role in development, cancer cell survival and skin carcinogenesis, along with a brief discussion of RBX-SCF E3 ligases as the cancer targets and a recently discovered small molecule inhibitor of SCF E3 ligases as a novel class of anticancer drugs.
Anticancer targets; Protein degradation; Neddylation; RING Box proteins; SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases; Ubiquitin-proteasome system
The SCF (Skp1–cullin–F-box proteins), also known as CRL (cullin-based RING ligase), is the largest family of E3 ubiquitin ligases that mediate approximately 20% ubiquitinated protein substrates for 26S proteasome degradation. Through promoting timely degradation of many key regulatory proteins, SCF E3 ligase controls numerous cellular processes; its dysfunction contributes to a number of human diseases, including cancer. The RING component of SCF complex consists of 2 family members, RBX1 (RING box protein 1), also known as ROC1 (regulator of cullins), and RBX2/ROC2 (also known as SAG [sensitive to apoptosis gene]), both of which are essential for the catalytic activity of SCF. RBX1 and RBX2 are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to humans and play an essential role during mouse embryonic development. Moreover, RBX1 and RBX2 are both overexpressed in multiple human cancer tissues and required for the growth and survival of cancer cells. In this review, we will discuss the similarities and differences between 2 RING family members, their regulation of SCF E3 ligase activity, and their role in development, cancer cell survival, and skin carcinogenesis, along with a brief discussion of RBX-SCF E3 ligases as the cancer targets and a recently discovered small molecule inhibitor of SCF E3 ligases as a novel class of anticancer drugs.
anticancer targets; protein degradation; neddylation; RING box proteins; SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases; ubiquitin-proteasome system
F-box proteins are the substrate recognition subunits of SCF (Skp1, Cul1, F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase complexes. Skp2 is a nuclear F-box protein that targets the CDK inhibitor p27 for ubiquitin- and proteasome-dependent degradation. In G0 and during the G1 phase of the cell cycle, Skp2 is degraded via the APC/CCdh1 ubiquitin ligase to allow stabilization of p27 and inhibition of CDKs, facilitating the maintenance of the G0/G1 state. APC/CCdh1 binds Skp2 through an N-terminal domain (amino acids 46–94 in human Skp2). It has been shown that phosphorylation of Ser64 and Ser72 in this domain dissociates Skp2 from APC/C. More recently, it has instead been proposed that phosphorylation of Skp2 on Ser72 by Akt/ PKB allows Skp2 binding to Skp1, promoting the assembly of an active SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase, and Skp2 relocalization/ retention into the cytoplasm, promoting cell migration via an unknown mechanism. According to these reports, a Skp2 mutant in which Ser72 is substituted with Ala is unable to promote cell proliferation and loses its oncogenic potential. Given the contrasting reports, we revisited these results and conclude that phosphorylation of Skp2 on Ser72 does not control Skp2 binding to Skp1 and Cul1, has no influence on SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase activity, and does not affect the subcellular localization of Skp2.
Skp2; Akt; SCF; ubiquitin
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is one of the major protein turnover mechanisms that plays important roles in the regulation of a variety of cellular functions. It is composed of E1 (ubiquitin-activating enzyme), E2 (ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme), and E3 ubiquitin ligases that transfer ubiquitin to the substrates that are subjected to degradation in the 26S proteasome. The Skp1, Cullin, F-box protein (SCF) E3 ligases are the largest E3 gene family, in which the F-box protein is the key component to determine substrate specificity. Although the SCF E3 ligase and its F-box proteins have been extensively studied in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, only limited studies have been reported on the role of F-box proteins in other fungi. Recently, a number of studies revealed that F-box proteins are required for fungal pathogenicity. In this communication, we review the current understanding of F-box proteins in pathogenic fungi.
Cryptococcus neoformans; E3 ligase; F-box; Fungi; Virulence
Poly-glutamine (polyQ) diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterised by expanded CAG repeats in the causative genes whose proteins form inclusion bodies. Various E3 ubiquitin ligases are implicated in neurodegenerative disorders. We report that dysfunction of the SCF (Skp1-Cul1-F-box protein) complex, one of the most well-characterised ubiquitin ligases, is associated with pathology in polyQ diseases like Huntington's disease (HD) and Machado–Joseph disease (MJD). We found that Cullin1 (Cul1) and Skp1, core components of the SCF complex, are reduced in HD mice brain. A reduction in Cul1 levels was also observed in cellular HD model and fly models of both HD and MJD. We show that Cul1 is able to genetically modify mutant huntingtin aggregates because its silencing results in increased aggregate load in cultured cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that silencing dCul1 and dSkp1 in Drosophila results in increased aggregate load and enhanced polyQ-induced toxicity. Our results imply that reduced levels of SCF complex might contribute to polyQ disease pathology.
Cullin1; E3 ligase; Huntington's disease; neurodegeneration; SCF
Events within and transitions between the phases of the eukaryotic cell cycle are tightly controlled by transcriptional and post-translational processes. Prominent among them is a profound role for the ubiquitin proteasome proteolytic pathway. The timely degradation of proteins balances the increases in gene products dictated by changes in transcription. Of the dozens of ubiquitin conjugating enzymes, or E2s, functions in control of the cell cycle have been defined for only UbcH10 and Ubc3/Cdc34. Each of these E2s works primarily with one ubiquitin ligase or E3. Here we show that another E2, UbcH7 is a regulator of S phase of the cell cycle. Over-expression of UbcH7 delays entry into S phase whereas depletion of UbcH7 increases the length of S phase and decreases cell proliferation. Additionally, the level of the checkpoint kinase Chk1 increases upon UbcH7 depletion while the level of phosphorylated PTEN decreases. Taken together, these data indicate that the length of S phase is controlled in part by UbcH7 through a PTEN/Akt/Chk1 pathway. Potential mechanisms by which UbcH7 controls Chk1 levels both directly and indirectly, as well as the length of S phase are discussed and additional functions for UbcH7 are reviewed.
The SCF (for SKP1, Cullin/CDC53,
F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase targets a number of cell
cycle regulators, transcription factors, and other proteins for
degradation in yeast and mammalian cells. Recent genetic studies
demonstrate that plant F-box proteins are involved in auxin responses,
jasmonate signaling, flower morphogenesis, photocontrol of circadian
clocks, and leaf senescence, implying a large spectrum of functions for
the SCF pathway in plant development. Here, we present a molecular and
functional characterization of plant cullins. The
Arabidopsis genome contains 11 cullin-related genes.
Complementation assays revealed that AtCUL1 but not AtCUL4 can
functionally complement the yeast cdc53 mutant.
Arabidopsis mutants containing transfer DNA
(T-DNA) insertions in the AtCUL1 gene were shown
to display an arrest in early embryogenesis. Consistently, both the
transcript and the protein of the AtCUL1 gene were found
to accumulate in embryos. The AtCUL1 protein localized mainly in the
nucleus but also weakly in the cytoplasm during interphase and
colocalized with the mitotic spindle in metaphase. Our results
demonstrate a critical role for the SCF ubiquitin ligase in
Proper cell-cycle transitions are driven by waves of ubiquitin-dependent degradation of key regulators by the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) and Skp1-Cullin1-F-box (SCF) E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes. But precisely how APC and SCF activities are coordinated to regulate cell-cycle progression remains largely unclear. We previously showed that APC/Cdh1 earmarks the SCF component Skp2 for degradation. Here, we continue to report that SCFβ-TRCP reciprocally controls APC/Cdh1 activity by governing Cdh1 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Furthermore, we define both cyclin A and Plk1, two well-known Cdh1 substrates, as upstream modifying enzymes that promote Cdh1 phosphorylation to trigger Cdh1 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by SCFβ-TRCP. Thus, our work reveals a negative repression mechanism for SCF to control APC, thereby illustrating an elegant dual repression system between these two E3 ligase complexes to create the ordered cascade of APC and SCF activities governing timely cell-cycle transitions.
NEDD8/Rub1 is a ubiquitin (Ub)-like molecule that covalently ligates to target proteins through an enzymatic cascade analogous to ubiquitylation. This modifier is known to target all cullin (Cul) family proteins. The latter are essential components of Skp1/Cul-1/F-box protein (SCF)–like Ub ligase complexes, which play critical roles in Ub-mediated proteolysis. To determine the role of the NEDD8 system in mammals, we generated mice deficient in Uba3 gene that encodes a catalytic subunit of NEDD8-activating enzyme. Uba3−/− mice died in utero at the periimplantation stage. Mutant embryos showed selective apoptosis of the inner cell mass but not of trophoblastic cells. However, the mutant trophoblastic cells could not enter the S phase of the endoreduplication cycle. This cell cycle arrest was accompanied with aberrant expression of cyclin E and p57Kip2. These results suggested that the NEDD8 system is essential for both mitotic and the endoreduplicative cell cycle progression. β-Catenin, a mediator of the Wnt/wingless signaling pathway, which degrades continuously in the cytoplasm through SCF Ub ligase, was also accumulated in the Uba3−/− cytoplasm and nucleus. Thus, the NEDD8 system is essential for the regulation of protein degradation pathways involved in cell cycle progression and morphogenesis, possibly through the function of the Cul family proteins.
NEDD8; ubiquitin; cullin; knock-out; cell cycle
The HPV-oncoprotein, E7 promotes proteasomal degradation of the tumor suppressor protein, Rb. In this study, we analyzed the regulation of E7-induced Rb proteolysis in HPV-containing Caski cervical cancer cells. We show that the Rb proteolysis is cell cycle dependent; in S phase Rb is stable while in post-mitotic early G1 phase cells and in differentiated cells, Rb is unstable. Similarly, the in vivo Rb/E7 interaction is not detected in S phase cells, but is readily detected in differentiating Caski cells. The ubiquitinating enzymes involved in Rb proteolysis have not been identified. We find that the E3 ligase MDM2 is not involved in the Rb proteolysis in Caski cells. An in vivo analysis using multiple catalytic-site mutant dominant negative E2-enzymes show that the C92A E2-25K most effectively blocks E7-induced Rb proteolysis. Taken together, these results show that E7 induces Rb proteolysis in growth-arrested cells and E2-25K is involved in the proteolysis.
F-box proteins were first described as components of ubiquitin ligase complexes, but have more recently been found to be involved in a variety of cellular functions, including in the kinetochore and in translational elongation.
The F-box is a protein motif of approximately 50 amino acids that functions as a site of protein-protein interaction. F-box proteins were first characterized as components of SCF ubiquitin-ligase complexes (named after their main components, Skp I, Cullin, and an F-box protein), in which they bind substrates for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. The F-box motif links the F-box protein to other components of the SCF complex by binding the core SCF component Skp I. F-box proteins have more recently been discovered to function in non-SCF protein complexes in a variety of cellular functions. There are 11 F-box proteins in budding yeast, 326 predicted in Caenorhabditis elegans, 22 in Drosophila, and at least 38 in humans. F-box proteins often include additional carboxy-terminal motifs capable of protein-protein interaction; the most common secondary motifs in yeast and human F-box proteins are WD repeats and leucine-rich repeats, both of which have been found to bind phosphorylated substrates to the SCF complex. The majority of F-box proteins have other associated motifs, and the functions of most of these proteins have not yet been defined.
The flexibility and specificity of ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis are mediated, in part, by the E3 ubiquitin ligases. One class of E3 enzymes, SKp1/cullin/F-box protein (SCF), derives its specificity from F-box proteins, a heterogeneous family of adapters for target protein recognition. Grr1, the F-box component of SCFGrr1, mediates the interaction with phosphorylated forms of the G1 cyclins Cln1 and Cln2. We show that binding of Cln2 by SCFGrr1 was dependent upon its leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain and its carboxy terminus. Our structural model for the Grr1 LRR predicted a high density of positive charge on the concave surface of the characteristic horseshoe structure. We hypothesized that specific basic residues on the predicted concave surface are important for recognition of phosphorylated Cln2. We show that point mutations that converted the basic residues on the concave surface but not those on the convex surface to neutral or acidic residues interfered with the capacity of Grr1 to bind to Cln2. The same mutations resulted in the stabilization of Cln2 and Gic2 and also in a spectrum of phenotypes characteristic of inactivation of GRR1, including hyperpolarization and enhancement of pseudohyphal growth. It was surprising that the same residues were not important for the role of Grr1 in nutrient-regulated transcription of HXT1 or AGP1. We concluded that the cationic nature of the concave surface of the Grr1 LRR is critical for the recognition of phosphorylated targets of SCFGrr1 but that other properties of Grr1 are required for its other functions.
In mitosis, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) regulates the onset of sister-chromatid separation and exit from mitosis by mediating the ubiquitination and degradation of the securin protein and mitotic cyclins. With the use of a baculoviral expression system, we have reconstituted the ubiquitin ligase activity of human APC. In combination with Ubc4 or UbcH10, a heterodimeric complex of APC2 and APC11 is sufficient to catalyze the ubiquitination of human securin and cyclin B1. However, the minimal APC2/11 ubiquitin ligase module does not possess substrate specificity, because it also ubiquitinates the destruction box deletion mutants of securin and cyclin B1. Both APC11 and UbcH10 bind to the C-terminal cullin homology domain of APC2, whereas Ubc4 interacts with APC11 directly. Zn2+-binding and mutagenesis experiments indicate that APC11 binds Zn2+ at a 1:3 M ratio. Unlike the two Zn2+ ions of the canonical RING-finger motif, the third Zn2+ ion of APC11 is not essential for its ligase activity. Surprisingly, with Ubc4 as the E2 enzyme, Zn2+ ions alone are sufficient to catalyze the ubiquitination of cyclin B1. Therefore, the Zn2+ ions of the RING finger family of ubiquitin ligases may be directly involved in catalysis.