The regulation of Notch signaling heavily relies on ubiquitination events. Drosophila Su(dx), a member of the HECT family of ubiquitin-ligases, has been described as a negative regulator of Notch signaling, acting on the post-endocytic sorting of Notch. The mammalian ortholog of Su(dx), Itch/AIP4, has been shown to have multiple substrates, including Notch, but the precise events regulated by Itch/AIP4 in the Notch pathway have not been identified yet.
Using Itch-/- fibroblasts expressing the Notch1 receptor, we show that Itch is not necessary for Notch activation, but rather for controlling the degradation of Notch in the absence of ligand. Itch is indeed required after the early steps of Notch endocytosis to target it to the lysosomes where it is degraded. Furthermore Itch/AIP4 catalyzes Notch polyubiquitination through unusual K29-linked chains. We also demonstrate that although Notch is associated with Itch/AIP4 in cells, their interaction is not detectable in vitro and thus requires either a post-translational modification, or a bridging factor that remains to be identified.
Taken together our results identify a specific step of Notch regulation in the absence of any activation and underline differences between mammalian and Drosophila Notch pathways.
Spartin protein is involved in degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor and turnover of lipid droplets and a lack of expression of this protein is responsible for hereditary spastic paraplegia type 20 (SPG20). Spartin is a multifunctional protein that associates with many cellular organelles, including lipid droplets. Recent studies showed that spartin interacts with E3 ubiquitin ligases that belong to the neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally downregulated gene (Nedd4) family, including atrophin-1-interacting protein 4 (AIP4/ITCH). However, the biological importance of the spartin-AIP4 interaction remains unknown.
In this study, we show that spartin is not a substrate for AIP4 activity and that spartin's binding to AIP4 significantly increases self-ubiquitination of this E3 ligase, indicating that spartin disrupts the AIP4 autoinhibitory intramolecular interaction. Correspondingly, spartin has a seven times higher binding affinity to the WW region of AIP4 than the binding of the WW region has to the catalytic homologues of the E6-associated protein C-terminus (HECT) domain, as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We also show that spartin recruits AIP4 to lipid droplets and promotes ubiquitination of lipid droplet-associated protein, adipophilin, which regulates turnover of lipid droplets.
Our findings demonstrate that spartin acts as an adaptor protein that activates and recruits AIP4 E3 ubiquitin ligase to lipid droplets and by this means regulates the level of ubiquitination of adipophilin and potentially other lipid-associated proteins. We propose that this is one of the mechanisms by which spartin regulates lipid droplet turnover and might contribute to the pathology of SPG20.
Nedd4 and Itch are E3 ubiquitin ligases that, in vitro, ubiquitinate similar targets and thus are thought to function similarly. T cells lacking Itch show spontaneous activation and T helper type 2 (TH2) polarization. To test whether the loss of Nedd4 affects T cells in the same way, we generated Nedd4+/+ and Nedd4−/−fetal liver chimeras. Nedd4−/−T cells developed normally but proliferated less, produced less interleukin 2, and provided inadequate help to B cells. Nedd4−/−T cells contain increased amounts of Cbl-b protein, and Nedd4 was required for Cbl-b poly-ubquitination induced by CD28 co-stimulation. These data demonstrate that Nedd4 promotes the conversion of naive T cells into activated T cells. We propose that Nedd4 and Itch ubiquitinate distinct target proteins in vivo.
The Cbl family of ubiquitin ligases function as negative regulators of activated receptor tyrosine kinases by facilitating their ubiquitination and subsequent lysosomal targeting. Here, we have investigated the role of Cbl ubiquitin ligase activity in the negative regulation of a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, the Src-family kinase Fyn. Using primary embryonic fibroblasts from Cbl+/+ and Cbl−/− mice, we demonstrate that endogenous Cbl mediates the ubiquitination of Fyn and dictates the rate of Fyn turnover. By analyzing CHO-TS20 cells with a temperature-sensitive ubiquitin activating enzyme, we demonstrate that intact cellular ubiquitin machinery is required for Cbl-induced degradation of Fyn. Analyses of Cbl mutants, with mutations in or near the RING finger domain, in 293T cells revealed that the ubiquitin ligase activity of Cbl is essential for Cbl-induced degradation of Fyn by the proteasome pathway. Finally, use of a SRE-luciferase reporter demonstrated that Cbl-dependent negative regulation of Fyn function requires the region of Cbl that mediates the ubiquitin ligase activity. Given the conservation of structure between various Src-family kinases and the ability of Cbl to interact with multiple members of this family, Cbl-dependent ubiquitination could serve a general role to negatively regulate activated Src-family kinases.
tyrosine kinase; ubiquitin; regulation; degradation
Cbl proteins (Cbl, Cbl-b and Cbl-c) are ubiquitin ligases that are critical regulators of tyrosine kinase signaling. In this study we identify a new Cbl-c interacting protein, Hydrogen peroxide Induced Construct 5 (Hic-5). The two proteins interact through a novel interaction mediated by the RING finger of Cbl-c and the LIM2 domain of Hic-5. Further, this interaction is mediated and dependent on specific zinc coordinating complexes within the RING finger and LIM domain. Binding of Hic-5 to Cbl-c leads to an increase in the ubiquitin ligase activity of Cbl-c once Cbl-c has been activated by Src phosphorylation or through an activating phosphomimetic mutation. In addition, co-transfection of Hic-5 with Cbl-c leads to an increase in Cbl-c mediated ubiquitination of the EGFR. These data suggest that Hic-5 enhances Cbl-c ubiquitin ligase activity once Cbl-c has been phosphorylated and activated. Interactions between heterologous RING fingers have been shown to activate E3s. This is the first demonstration of enhancement of ubiquitin ligase activity of a RING finger ubiquitin ligase by the direct interaction of a LIM zinc coordinating domain.
MAK-V/Hunk is a scantily characterized AMPK-like protein kinase. Recent findings identified MAK-V as a pro-survival and anti-apoptotic protein and revealed its role in embryonic development as well as in tumorigenesis and metastasis. However molecular mechanisms of MAK-V action and regulation of its activity remain largely unknown. We identified Nedd4 as an interaction partner for MAK-V protein kinase. However, this HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase is not involved in the control of MAK-V degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system that regulates MAK-V abundance in cells. However, Nedd4 in an ubiquitin ligase-independent manner rescued developmental defects in Xenopus embryos induced by MAK-V overexpression, suggesting physiological relevance of interaction between MAK-V and Nedd4. This identifies Nedd4 as the first known regulator of MAK-V function.
Nedd4 family interacting protein-1 (Ndfip1) is a protein whose only known function is that it binds Nedd4, a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. Here we show that mice lacking Ndfip1 developed severe inflammation of the skin and lung and died prematurely. This condition was due to a defect in Ndfip1−/− T cells. Ndfip1−/− T cells were activated, and they proliferated and adopted a T helper 2 (Th2) phenotype more readily than did their Ndfip1+/+ counterparts. This phenotype resembled that of Itchy mutant mice, suggesting that Ndfip1 might affect the function of Itch, an E3 ubiquitin ligase. We show that T cell activation promoted both Ndfip1 expression and its association with Itch. In the absence of Ndfip1, JunB half-life was prolonged after T cell activation. Thus, in the absence of Ndfip1, Itch is inactive and JunB accumulates. As a result, T cells produce Th2 cytokines and promote Th2-mediated inflammatory disease.
Latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) is expressed in latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. We have demonstrated that Nedd4 family ubiquitin-protein ligases (E3s), AIP4, WWP2/AIP2, and Nedd4, bind specifically to two PY motifs present within the LMP2A amino-terminal domain. In this study, LMP2A PY motif mutant viruses were constructed to investigate the role of the LMP2A PY motifs. AIP4 was found to specifically associate with the LMP2A PY motifs in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), extending our original observation to EBV-infected cells. Mutation of both of the LMP2A PY motifs resulted in an absence of binding of AIP4 to LMP2A, which resulted in an increase in the expression of Lyn and the constitutive hyperphosphorylation of LMP2A and an unknown 120-kDa protein. In addition, there was a modest increase in the constitutive phosphorylation of Syk and an unidentified 60-kDa protein. These results indicate that the PY motifs contained within LMP2A are important in regulating phosphorylation in EBV-infected LCLs, likely through the regulation of Lyn activity by specifically targeting the degradation of Lyn by ubiquination by Nedd4 family E3s. Despite differences between PY motif mutant LCLs and wild-type LCLs, the PY motif mutants still exhibited a block in B-cell receptor (BCR) signal transduction as measured by the induction of tyrosine phosphorylation and BZLF1 expression following BCR activation. EBV-transformed LCLs with mutations in the PY motifs were not different from wild-type LCLs in serum-dependent cell growth. Protein stability of LMP1, which colocalizes with LMP2A, was not affected by the LMP2A-associated E3s.
The tumor suppressor PTEN, a critical regulator for multiple cellular processes, is mutated or deleted frequently in various human cancers. Subtle reductions in PTEN expression levels have profound impacts on carcinogenesis. Here we show that PTEN level is regulated by ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation, and purified its ubiquitin ligase as HECT-domain protein NEDD4-1. In cells, NEDD4-1 negatively regulates PTEN stability by catalyzing PTEN polyubiquitination. Consistent with the tumor suppressive role of PTEN, overexpression of NEDD4-1 potentiated cellular transformation. Strikingly, in a mouse cancer model and multiple human cancer samples where the genetic background of PTEN was normal but its protein levels were low, NEDD4-1 was highly expressed, suggesting aberrant upregulation of NEDD4-1 can posttranslationally suppress PTEN in cancers. Elimination of NEDD4-1 expression inhibited xenotransplanted tumor growth in a PTEN-dependent manner. Therefore, NEDD4-1 is a potential proto-oncogene that negatively regulates PTEN via ubiquitination, a paradigm analogous to that of Mdm2 and p53.
E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b plays a crucial role in T cell activation and tolerance induction. However, the molecular mechanism by which Cbl-b inhibits T cell activation remains unclear. Here we report that Cbl-b does not inhibit PI3-K, but rather suppresses TCR/CD28-induced inactivation of Pten. The elevated Akt activity in Cbl-b−/− T cells is therefore due to heightened Pten inactivation. Suppression of Pten inactivation in T cells by Cbl-b is achieved by impeding the association of Pten with Nedd4, which targets Pten K13 for K63-linked polyubiquitination. Consistent with this finding, introducing Nedd4 deficiency into Cbl-b−/− mice abrogates hyper-T cell responses caused by the loss of Cbl-b. Hence, our data are the first to demonstrate that Cbl-b inhibits T cell activation by suppressing Pten inactivation independently of its ubiquitin ligase activity.
Nedd4 family ubiquitin protein ligases (E3s) specifically associate with latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) of Epstein-Barr virus. Our previous studies analyzing LMP2A function in vitro have suggested that Nedd4 family E3s regulate LMP2A function. To determine the role of Nedd4 family E3s in LMP2A B-cell signaling, LMP2A transgenic (LMP2A+) mice were crossed with mice with the Itch-deficient (Itch−/−) background. Itchy, a mouse homologue of human AIP4, is a Nedd4 family E3 and is also the most abundant Nedd4 family E3 found in LMP2A affinity precipitates from B cells. There were significantly fewer B-cell receptor-positive B cells in spleen and bone marrow B cells in LMP2A+ Itch−/− mice than in LMP2A+ mice. In addition, LMP2A+ Itch−/− bone marrow B cells formed larger colonies in cultures treated with interleukin-7 (IL-7) than control bone marrow B cells did. Finally, there was a dramatic increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of LMP2A and Syk in IL-7-cultured LMP2A+ Itch−/− B cells. These results indicate that Nedd4 family E3s, in particular Itchy, downmodulate LMP2A activity in B-cell signaling.
Activation of naive T lymphocytes is regulated through a series of discrete checkpoints that maintain unresponsiveness to self. During this multistep process, costimulatory interactions act as inducible signals that allow APCs to selectively mobilize T cells against foreign Ags. In this study, we provide evidence that the anergy-associated E3 ubiquitin ligase GRAIL (gene related to anergy in lymphocytes) regulates expression of the costimulatory molecule CD40L on CD4 T cells. Using its luminal protease-associated domain, GRAIL binds to the luminal/extracellular portion of CD40L and facilitates transfer of ubiquitin molecules from the intracellular GRAIL RING (really interesting new gene) finger to the small cytosolic portion of CD40L. Down-regulation of CD40L occurred following ectopic expression of GRAIL in naive T cells from CD40−/− mice, and expression of GRAIL in bone marrow chimeric mice was associated with diminished lymphoid follicle formation. These data provide a model for intrinsic T cell regulation of costimulatory molecules and a molecular framework for the initiation of clonal T cell anergy.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase atrophin interacting protein 4 (AIP4) mediates ubiquitination and down-regulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. AIP4 belongs to the Nedd4-like homologous to E6-AP carboxy terminus domain family of E3 ubiquitin ligases, which typically bind proline-rich motifs within target proteins via the WW domains. The intracellular domains of CXCR4 lack canonical WW domain binding motifs; thus, whether AIP4 is targeted to CXCR4 directly or indirectly via an adaptor protein remains unknown. Here, we show that AIP4 can interact directly with CXCR4 via a novel noncanonical WW domain-mediated interaction involving serine residues 324 and 325 within the carboxy-terminal tail of CXCR4. These serine residues are critical for mediating agonist-promoted binding of AIP4 and subsequent ubiquitination and degradation of CXCR4. These residues are phosphorylated upon agonist activation and phosphomimetic mutants show enhanced binding to AIP4, suggesting a mechanism whereby phosphorylation mediates the interaction between CXCR4 and AIP4. Our data reveal a novel noncanonical WW domain-mediated interaction involving phosphorylated serine residues in the absence of any proline residues and suggest a novel mechanism whereby an E3 ubiquitin ligase is targeted directly to an activated G protein-coupled receptor.
ACK (activated Cdc42-associated tyrosine kinase) (also Tnk2) is an ubiquitin-binding protein and plays an important role in ligand-induced and ubiquitination-mediated degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Here we report that ACK is ubiquitinated by HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1 and degraded along with EGFR in response to EGF stimulation. ACK interacts with Nedd4-1 through a conserved PPXY WW-binding motif. The WW3 domain in Nedd4-1 is critical for binding to ACK. Although ACK binds to both Nedd4-1 and Nedd4-2 (also Nedd4L), Nedd4-1 is the E3 ubiquitin ligase for ubiquitination of ACK in cells. Interestingly, deletion of the sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain at the N terminus dramatically reduced the ubiquitination of ACK by Nedd4-1, while deletion of the Uba domain dramatically enhanced the ubiquitination. Use of proteasomal and lysosomal inhibitors demonstrated that EGF-induced ACK degradation is processed by lysosomes, not proteasomes. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of Nedd4-1, not Nedd4-2, inhibited degradation of both EGFR and ACK, and overexpression of ACK mutants that are deficient in either binding to or ubiquitination by Nedd4-1 blocked EGF-induced degradation of EGFR. Our findings suggest an essential role of Nedd4-1 in regulation of EGFR degradation through interaction with and ubiquitination of ACK.
The Nedd4 (neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally downregulated gene 4) family of ubiquitin ligases (E3s) is characterized by a distinct modular domain architecture, with each member consisting of a C2 domain, 2–4 WW domains, and a HECT-type ligase domain. Of the nine mammalian members of this family, Nedd4 and its close relative, Nedd4-2, represent the ancestral ligases with strong similarity to the yeast, Rsp5. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rsp5 has a key role in regulating the trafficking, sorting, and degradation of a large number of proteins in multiple cellular compartments. However, in mammals the Nedd4 family members, including Nedd4 and Nedd4-2, appear to have distinct functions, thereby suggesting that these E3s target specific proteins for ubiquitylation. In this article we focus on the biology and emerging functions of Nedd4 and Nedd4-2, and review recent in vivo studies on these E3s.
ubiquitylation; endocytosis; trafficking; receptor; signaling
Protein ubiquitination is a post-translational protein modification that regulates many biological conditions , , , . Trip12 is a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates ARF and APP-BP1 , . However, the significance of Trip12 in vivo is largely unknown. Here we show that the ubiquitin ligase activity of Trip12 is indispensable for mouse embryogenesis. A homozygous mutation in Trip12 (Trip12mt/mt) that disrupts the ubiquitin ligase activity resulted in embryonic lethality in the middle stage of development. Trip12mt/mt embryos exhibited growth arrest and increased expression of the negative cell cycle regulator p16 , , , . In contrast, Trip12mt/mt ES cells were viable. They had decreased proliferation, but maintained both the undifferentiated state and the ability to differentiate. Trip12mt/mt ES cells had increased levels of the BAF57 protein (a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex) and altered gene expression patterns. These data suggest that Trip12 is involved in global gene expression and plays an important role in mouse development.
The production of pigment by melanocytic cells of the skin involves a series of enzymatic reactions that take place in specialized organelles called melanosomes. Melan-A/MART-1 is a melanocytic transmembrane protein with no enzymatic activity that accumulates in vesicles at the trans side of the Golgi and in melanosomes. We show here that, in melanoma cells, Melan-A associates with two homologous to E6-AP C-terminus (HECT)-E3 ubiquitin ligases, NEDD4 and Itch, and is ubiquitylated. Both NEDD4 and Itch participate in the degradation of Melan-A. A mutant Melan-A lacking ubiquitin-acceptor residues displays increased half-life and, in pigmented cells, accumulates in melanosomes. These results suggest that ubiquitylation regulates the lysosomal sorting and degradation of Melan-A/MART-1 from melanosomes in melanocytic cells.
The ALG2-interacting protein X (ALIX)/AIP1 is an adaptor protein with multiple functions in intracellular protein trafficking that plays a central role in the biogenesis of enveloped viruses. The ubiquitin E3-ligase POSH (plenty of SH3) augments HIV-1 egress by facilitating the transport of Gag to the cell membrane. Recently, it was reported, that POSH interacts with ALIX and thereby enhances ALIX mediated phenotypes in Drosophila.
In this study we identified ALIX as a POSH ubiquitination substrate in human cells: POSH induces the ubiquitination of ALIX that is modified on several lysine residues in vivo and in vitro. This ubiquitination does not destabilize ALIX, suggesting a regulatory function. As it is well established that ALIX rescues virus release of L-domain mutant HIV-1, HIV-1ΔPTAP, we demonstrated that wild type POSH, but not an ubiquitination inactive RING finger mutant (POSHV14A), substantially enhances ALIX-mediated release of infectious virions derived from HIV-1ΔPTAP L-domain mutant (YPXnL-dependent HIV-1). In further agreement with the idea of a cooperative function of POSH and ALIX, mutating the YPXnL-ALIX binding site in Gag completely abrogated augmentation of virus release by overexpression of POSH. However, the effect of the POSH-mediated ubiquitination appears to be auxiliary, but not necessary, as silencing of POSH by RNAi does not disturb ALIX-augmentation of virus release.
Thus, the cumulative results identified ALIX as an ubiquitination substrate of POSH and indicate that POSH and ALIX cooperate to facilitate efficient virus release. However, while ALIX is obligatory for the release of YPXnL-dependent HIV-1, POSH, albeit rate-limiting, may be functionally interchangeable.
The anti-apoptotic protein FLIPS is a key suppressor of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) -induced apoptosis in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. We previously reported that a novel phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-Akt-atrophin interacting protein 4 (AIP4) pathway regulates FLIPS ubiquitination and stability, although the means by which PTEN and Akt were linked to AIP4 activity were unclear. We here report that a second regulator of ubiquitin metabolism, the ubiquitin-specific protease (USP) 8, is a downstream target of Akt, and that USP8 links Akt to AIP4 and the regulation of FLIPS stability and TRAIL resistance. In human GBM xenografts, levels of USP8 correlated inversely with pAkt levels, and genetic or pharmacologic manipulation of Akt regulated USP8 levels in an inverse manner. Over-expression of WT USP8, but not catalytically inactive USP8, increased FLIPS ubiquitination, decreased FLIPS half-life, decreased FLIPS steady-state levels, and decreased TRAIL resistance, while siRNA-mediated suppression of USP8 levels had the opposite effects. Because high levels of the USP8 deubiquitinase correlated with high levels of FLIPS ubiquitination, USP8 appeared to control FLIPS ubiquitination through an intermediate target. Consistent with this idea, over-expression of WT USP8 decreased ubiquitination of the FLIPS E3 ubiquitin ligase AIP4, an event previously shown to increase AIP4-FLIPS interaction, while siRNA-mediated suppression of USP8 increased AIP4 ubiquitination. Furthermore, the suppression of FLIPS levels by USP8 over-expression was reversed by introduction of siRNA targeting AIP4. These results show that USP8, a downstream target of Akt, regulates the ability of AIP4 to control FLIPS stability and TRAIL sensitivity.
glioblastoma; TRAIL; ubiquitin; PTEN; USP8
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family ligands play essential roles in regulating a variety of cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation and survival. Expression of Drosophila TNF ortholog Eiger (Egr) induces JNK-dependent cell death, while the roles of caspases in this process remain elusive. To further delineate the Egr-triggered cell death pathway, we performed a genetic screen to identify dominant modifiers of the Egr-induced cell death phenotype. Here we report that Egr elicits a caspase-mediated cell death pathway independent of JNK signaling. Furthermore, we show NOPO, the Drosophila ortholog of TRIP (TRAF interacting protein) encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase, modulates Egr-induced Caspase-mediated cell death through transcriptional activation of pro-apoptotic genes reaper and hid. Finally, we found Bendless and dUEV1a, an ubiquitin-conjugating E2 enzyme complex, regulates NOPO-triggered cell death. Our results indicate that the Ben-dUEV1a complex constitutes a molecular switch that bifurcates the Egr-induced cell death signaling into two pathways mediated by JNK and caspases respectively.
cTNF; JNK; NOPO; caspase; cell death
Many enveloped viruses exploit the class E vacuolar protein-sorting (VPS) pathway to bud from cells, and use peptide motifs to recruit specific class E VPS factors. Homologous to E6AP COOH terminus (HECT) ubiquitin ligases have been implicated as cofactors for PPXY motif–dependent budding, but precisely which members of this family are responsible, and how they access the VPS pathway is unclear. Here, we show that PPXY-dependent viral budding is unusually sensitive to inhibitory fragments derived from specific HECT ubiquitin ligases, namely WWP1 and WWP2. We also show that WWP1, WWP2, or Itch ubiquitin ligase recruitment promotes PPXY-dependent virion release, and that this function requires that the HECT ubiquitin ligase domain be catalytically active. Finally, we show that several mammalian HECT ubiquitin ligases, including WWP1, WWP2, and Itch are recruited to class E compartments induced by dominant negative forms of the class E VPS ATPase, VPS4. These data indicate that specific HECT ubiquitin ligases can link PPXY motifs to the VPS pathway to induce viral budding.
Partitioning of the Golgi membrane into daughter cells during mammalian cell division occurs through a unique disassembly and reassembly process that is regulated by ubiquitination. However, the identity of the ubiquitin ligase is unknown. Here we show that the Homologous to the E6-AP Carboxyl Terminus (HECT) domain containing ubiquitin ligase HACE1 is targeted to the Golgi membrane through interactions with Rab proteins. The ubiquitin ligase activity of HACE1 in mitotic Golgi disassembly is required for subsequent postmitotic Golgi membrane fusion. Depletion of HACE1 using small interfering RNAs or expression of an inactive HACE1 mutant protein in cells impaired postmitotic Golgi membrane fusion. The identification of HACE1 as a Golgi-localized ubiquitin ligase provides evidence that ubiquitin has a critical role in Golgi biogenesis during the cell cycle.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase Casitas B lymphoma protein (Cbl) controls the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of EGF receptor (EGFR), but its role in regulating downstream signaling elements with which it associates and its impact on biological outcomes of EGFR signaling are less clear. Here, we demonstrate that stimulation of EGFR on human mammary epithelial cells disrupts adherens junctions (AJs) through Vav2 and Rac1/Cdc42 activation. In EGF-stimulated cells, Cbl regulates the levels of phosphorylated Vav2 thereby attenuating Rac1/Cdc42 activity. Knockdown of Cbl and Cbl-b enhanced the EGF-induced disruption of AJs and cell motility. Overexpression of constitutively active Vav2 activated Rac1/Cdc42 and reorganized junctional actin cytoskeleton; these effects were suppressed by WT Cbl and enhanced by a ubiquitin ligase-deficient Cbl mutant. Cbl forms a complex with phospho-EGFR and phospho-Vav2 and facilitates phospho-Vav2 ubiquitinylation. Cbl can also interact with Vav2 directly in a Cbl Tyr-700-dependent manner. A ubiquitin ligase-deficient Cbl mutant enhanced the morphological transformation of mammary epithelial cells induced by constitutively active Vav2; this effect requires an intact Cbl Tyr-700. These results indicate that Cbl ubiquitin ligase plays a critical role in the maintenance of AJs and suppression of cell migration through down-regulation of EGFR-Vav2 signaling.
Actin; Breast Cancer; Epithelial Cell; Receptor Tyrosine Kinase; Rho; Ubiquitination; Adherens Junctions; Cbl; EGFR; Vav2
The first crystallographic study of an isolated WW domain is reported. Single crystals of the WW4 domain of the Nedd4-2 ubiquitin–protein ligase contain a high solvent content of 74% and diffract X-rays to 2.5 Å resolution.
Ubiquitin-mediated protein modification via covalent attachment of ubiquitin has emerged as one of the most common regulatory processes in all eukaryotes. Nedd4-2, closely related to neuronal precursor cell-expressed developmentally down-regulated 4 (Nedd4), is a multimodular ubiquitin–protein ligase comprised of four WW domains and a Hect domain. The WW domains recognize the proline-rich motifs on the multi-subunit amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). To gain insights into the binding of the WW domain to proline-rich peptides, a protein fragment (78 amino acids) containing the fourth WW domain (WW4) of the Nedd4-2 protein was purified and crystallized and X-ray diffraction data were collected. A data set was obtained to 2.5 Å resolution from a cryocooled single crystal at a synchrotron source. The crystals belong to the tetragonal space group P41212 (or P43212), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 113.43, c = 103.21 Å. Analysis of the self-rotation function suggests the presence of four WW4 molecules in the asymmetric unit, with a high unit-cell solvent content of 74%.
Nedd4-2 ubiquitin–protein ligase; WW4 domain
Bcl10 is a critical regulator of NF-κB activity in T and B cells, coupling antigen receptor signaling to NF-κB activation via protein kinase C (PKC). Here we show that PKC or T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD28 signaling results in downregulation of Bcl10 protein levels, thereby attenuating NF-κB transcriptional activity. Bcl10 degradation requires an intact caspase recruitment domain and is not observed after stimulation with tumor necrosis factor α or lipopolysaccharides. Bcl10 downregulation is not affected by proteasome inhibitors but is accompanied by transient localization to lysosomal vesicles, suggesting involvement of the lysosomal pathway rather than the proteasome. The HECT domain ubiquitin ligases NEDD4 and Itch promote ubiquitination and degradation of Bcl10, thus downmodulating NF-κB activation. Since CD3/CD28-induced activation of JNK is not affected by the decline of Bcl10, degradation of Bcl10 selectively terminates IKK/NF-κB signaling in response to TCR stimulation. Together, these results suggest a new mechanism of negative signaling in which TCR/PKC signaling initially activates Bcl10 but later promotes its degradation.