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1.  Human Fbh1 helicase contributes to genome maintenance via pro- and anti-recombinase activities 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(5):655-663.
Human Fbh1 helicase contributes to genome maintenance via pro- and anti-recombinase activities.
Homologous recombination (HR) is essential for faithful repair of DNA lesions yet must be kept in check, as unrestrained HR may compromise genome integrity and lead to premature aging or cancer. To limit unscheduled HR, cells possess DNA helicases capable of preventing excessive recombination. In this study, we show that the human Fbh1 (hFbh1) helicase accumulates at sites of DNA damage or replication stress in a manner dependent fully on its helicase activity and partially on its conserved F box. hFbh1 interacted with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), the formation of which was required for hFbh1 recruitment to DNA lesions. Conversely, depletion of endogenous Fbh1 or ectopic expression of helicase-deficient hFbh1 attenuated ssDNA production after replication block. Although elevated levels of hFbh1 impaired Rad51 recruitment to ssDNA and suppressed HR, its small interfering RNA–mediated depletion increased the levels of chromatin-associated Rad51 and caused unscheduled sister chromatid exchange. Thus, by possessing both pro- and anti-recombinogenic potential, hFbh1 may cooperate with other DNA helicases in tightly controlling cellular HR activity.
PMCID: PMC2742184  PMID: 19736316
2.  The Human F-Box DNA Helicase FBH1 Faces Saccharomyces cerevisiae Srs2 and Postreplication Repair Pathway Roles▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(21):7439-7450.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Srs2 UvrD DNA helicase controls genome integrity by preventing unscheduled recombination events. While Srs2 orthologues have been identified in prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic organisms, human orthologues of Srs2 have not been described so far. We found that the human F-box DNA helicase hFBH1 suppresses specific recombination defects of S. cerevisiae srs2 mutants, consistent with the finding that the helicase domain of hFBH1 is highly conserved with that of Srs2. Surprisingly, hFBH1 in the absence of SRS2 also suppresses the DNA damage sensitivity caused by inactivation of postreplication repair-dependent functions leading to PCNA ubiquitylation. The F-box domain of hFBH1, which is not present in Srs2, is crucial for hFBH1 functions in substituting for Srs2 and postreplication repair factors. Furthermore, our findings indicate that an intact F-box domain, acting as an SCF ubiquitin ligase, is required for the DNA damage-induced degradation of hFBH1 itself. Overall, our findings suggest that the hFBH1 helicase is a functional human orthologue of budding yeast Srs2 that also possesses self-regulation properties necessary to execute its recombination functions.
PMCID: PMC2169053  PMID: 17724085
3.  The SCFHOS/β-TRCP-ROC1 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Utilizes Two Distinct Domains within CUL1 for Substrate Targeting and Ubiquitin Ligation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(4):1382-1393.
We describe a purified ubiquitination system capable of rapidly catalyzing the covalent linkage of polyubiquitin chains onto a model substrate, phosphorylated IκBα. The initial ubiquitin transfer and subsequent polymerization steps of this reaction require the coordinated action of Cdc34 and the SCFHOS/β-TRCP-ROC1 E3 ligase complex, comprised of four subunits (Skp1, cullin 1 [CUL1], HOS/β-TRCP, and ROC1). Deletion analysis reveals that the N terminus of CUL1 is both necessary and sufficient for binding Skp1 but is devoid of ROC1-binding activity and, hence, is inactive in catalyzing ubiquitin ligation. Consistent with this, introduction of the N-terminal CUL1 polypeptide into cells blocks the tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced and SCF-mediated degradation of IκB by forming catalytically inactive complexes lacking ROC1. In contrast, the C terminus of CUL1 alone interacts with ROC1 through a region containing the cullin consensus domain, to form a complex fully active in supporting ubiquitin polymerization. These results suggest the mode of action of SCF-ROC1, where CUL1 serves as a dual-function molecule that recruits an F-box protein for substrate targeting through Skp1 at its N terminus, while the C terminus of CUL1 binds ROC1 to assemble a core ubiquitin ligase.
PMCID: PMC85290  PMID: 10648623
4.  FBH1 promotes DNA double-strand breakage and apoptosis in response to DNA replication stress 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;200(2):141-149.
Enzymatic activity of the UvrD DNA helicase FBH1 is required for the efficient induction of DSBs and apoptosis specifically in response to DNA replication stress.
Proper resolution of stalled replication forks is essential for genome stability. Purification of FBH1, a UvrD DNA helicase, identified a physical interaction with replication protein A (RPA), the major cellular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)–binding protein complex. Compared with control cells, FBH1-depleted cells responded to replication stress with considerably fewer double-strand breaks (DSBs), a dramatic reduction in the activation of ATM and DNA-PK and phosphorylation of RPA2 and p53, and a significantly increased rate of survival. A minor decrease in ssDNA levels was also observed. All these phenotypes were rescued by wild-type FBH1, but not a FBH1 mutant lacking helicase activity. FBH1 depletion had no effect on other forms of genotoxic stress in which DSBs form by means that do not require ssDNA intermediates. In response to catastrophic genotoxic stress, apoptosis prevents the persistence and propagation of DNA lesions. Our findings show that FBH1 helicase activity is required for the efficient induction of DSBs and apoptosis specifically in response to DNA replication stress.
PMCID: PMC3549964  PMID: 23319600
5.  Mammalian Fbh1 is important to restore normal mitotic progression following decatenation stress 
DNA repair  2010;9(6):708-717.
We have addressed the role of the F-box helicase 1 (Fbh1) protein during genome maintenance in mammalian cells. For this, we generated two mouse embryonic stem cell lines deficient for Fbh1: one with a homozygous deletion of the N-terminal F-box domain (Fbh1f/f), and the other with a homozygous disruption (Fbh1−/−). Consistent with previous reports of Fbh1-deficiency in vertebrate cells, we found that Fbh1−/− cells show a moderate increase in Rad51 localization to DNA damage, but no clear defect in chromosome break repair. In contrast, we found that Fbh1f/f cells show a decrease in Rad51 localization to DNA damage and increased cytoplasmic localization of Rad51. However, these Fbh1f/f cells show no clear defects in chromosome break repair. Since some Rad51 partners and F-box-associated proteins (Skp1-Cul1) have been implicated in progression through mitosis, we considered whether Fbh1 might play a role in this process. To test this hypothesis, we disrupted mitosis using catalytic topoisomerase II inhibitors (bisdioxopiperazines), which inhibit chromosome decatenation. We found that both Fbh1f/f and Fbh1−/− cells show hypersensitivity to topoisomerase II catalytic inhibitors, even though the degree of decatenation stress was not affected. Furthermore, following topoisomerase II catalytic inhibition, both Fbh1-deficient cell lines show substantial defects in anaphase separation of chromosomes. These results indicate that Fbh1 is important for restoration of normal mitotic progression following decatenation stress.
PMCID: PMC2883650  PMID: 20457012
Fbh1; Rad51; decatenation; bisdioxopiperazine; topoisomerase; mitosis
6.  Cooperative Roles of Vertebrate Fbh1 and Blm DNA Helicases in Avoidance of Crossovers during Recombination Initiated by Replication Fork Collapse▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(8):2812-2820.
Fbh1 (F-box DNA helicase 1) orthologues are conserved from Schizosaccharomyces pombe to chickens and humans. Here, we report the disruption of the FBH1 gene in DT40 cells. Although the yeast fbh1 mutant shows an increase in sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, FBH1−/− DT40 clones show no prominent sensitivity, suggesting that the loss of FBH1 might be compensated by other genes. However, FBH1−/− cells exhibit increases in both sister chromatid exchange and the formation of radial structures between homologous chromosomes without showing a defect in homologous recombination. This phenotype is reminiscent of BLM−/− cells and suggests that Fbh1 may be involved in preventing extensive strand exchange during homologous recombination. In addition, disruption of RAD54, a major homologous recombination factor in FBH1−/− cells, results in a marked increase in chromosome-type breaks (breaks on both sister chromatids at the same place) following replication fork arrest. Further, FBH1BLM cells showed additive increases in both sister chromatid exchange and the formation of radial chromosomes. These data suggest that Fbh1 acts in parallel with Bloom helicase to control recombination-mediated double-strand-break repair at replication blocks and to reduce the frequency of crossover.
PMCID: PMC1899948  PMID: 17283053
7.  Essential and distinct roles of the F-box and helicase domains of Fbh1 in DNA damage repair 
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are induced by exogenous insults such as ionizing radiation and chemical exposure, and they can also arise as a consequence of stalled or collapsed DNA replication forks. Failure to repair DSBs can lead to genomic instability or cell death and cancer in higher eukaryotes. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe fbh1 gene encodes an F-box DNA helicase previously described to play a role in the Rhp51 (an orthologue of S. cerevisiae RAD51)-dependent recombinational repair of DSBs. Fbh1 fused to GFP localizes to discrete nuclear foci following DNA damage.
To determine the functional roles of the highly conserved F-box and helicase domains, we have characterized fbh1 mutants carrying specific mutations in these domains. We show that the F-box mutation fbh1-fb disturbs the nuclear localization of Fbh1, conferring an fbh1 null-like phenotype. Moreover, nuclear foci do not form in fbh1-fb cells with DNA damage even if Fbh1-fb is targeted to the nucleus by fusion to a nuclear localization signal sequence. In contrast, the helicase mutation fbh1-hl causes the accumulation of Fbh1 foci irrespective of the presence of DNA damage and confers damage sensitivity greater than that conferred by the null allele. Additional mutation of the F-box alleviates the hypermorphic phenotype of the fbh1-hl mutant.
These results suggest that the F-box and DNA helicase domains play indispensable but distinct roles in Fbh1 function. Assembly of the SCFFbh1 complex is required for both the nuclear localization and DNA damage-induced focus formation of Fbh1 and is therefore prerequisite for the Fbh1 recombination function.
PMCID: PMC2294136  PMID: 18312697
8.  The Steady-State Repertoire of Human SCF Ubiquitin Ligase Complexes Does Not Require Ongoing Nedd8 Conjugation* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2010;10(5):M110.006460.
The human genome encodes 69 different F-box proteins (FBPs), each of which can potentially assemble with Skp1-Cul1-RING to serve as the substrate specificity subunit of an SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. SCF activity is switched on by conjugation of the ubiquitin-like protein Nedd8 to Cul1. Cycles of Nedd8 conjugation and deconjugation acting in conjunction with the Cul1-sequestering factor Cand1 are thought to control dynamic cycles of SCF assembly and disassembly, which would enable a dynamic equilibrium between the Cul1-RING catalytic core of SCF and the cellular repertoire of FBPs. To test this hypothesis, we determined the cellular composition of SCF complexes and evaluated the impact of Nedd8 conjugation on this steady-state. At least 42 FBPs assembled with Cul1 in HEK 293 cells, and the levels of Cul1-bound FBPs varied by over two orders of magnitude. Unexpectedly, quantitative mass spectrometry revealed that blockade of Nedd8 conjugation led to a modest increase, rather than a decrease, in the overall level of most SCF complexes. We suggest that multiple mechanisms including FBP dissociation and turnover cooperate to maintain the cellular pool of SCF ubiquitin ligases.
PMCID: PMC3098594  PMID: 21169563
9.  Phosphorylation of Ser72 is dispensable for Skp2 assembly into an active SCF ubiquitin ligase and its subcellular localization 
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)  2010;9(5):971-974.
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.
PMCID: PMC3827631  PMID: 20160477
Skp2; Akt; SCF; ubiquitin
10.  Regulation of p27 Degradation and S-Phase Progression by Ro52 RING Finger Protein 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(16):5994-6004.
Ubiquitin-mediated degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 provides a powerful route for enforcing normal progression through the mammalian cell cycle. According to a current model, the ubiquitination of p27 during S-phase progression is mediated by SCFSkp2 E3 ligase that captures Thr187-phosphorylated p27 by means of the F-box protein Skp2, which in turn couples the bound substrate via Skp1 to a catalytic core complex composed of Cul1 and the Rbx/Roc RING finger protein. Here we identify Skp2 as a component of an Skp1-cullin-F-box complex that is based on a Cul1-Ro52 RING finger B-box coiled-coil motif family protein catalytic core. Ro52-containing complexes display E3 ligase activity and promote the ubiquitination of Thr187-phosphorylated p27 in a RING-dependent manner in vitro. The knockdown of Ro52 expression in human cells with small interfering RNAs causes the accumulation of p27 and the failure of cells to enter S phase. Importantly, these effects are abrogated by the simultaneous removal of p27. Taken together, these data suggest a key role for Ro52 RING finger protein in the regulation of p27 degradation and S-phase progression in mammalian cells and provide evidence for the existence of a Cul1-based catalytic core that utilizes Ro52 RING protein to promote ubiquitination.
PMCID: PMC1592794  PMID: 16880511
11.  Signal-induced disassembly of the SCF ubiquitin ligase complex by Cdc48/p97 
Molecular cell  2012;48(2):288-297.
A large group of E3 ubiquitin ligases is formed by the multisubunit SCF complex, whose core complex (Rbx1/Cul1-Cdc53/Skp1) binds one of many substrate recruiting F-box proteins to form an array of SCF ligases with diverse substrate specificities. It has long been thought that ubiquitylation by SCF ligases is regulated at the level of substrate binding. Here we describe an alternative mechanism of SCF regulation by active dissociation of the F-box subunit. We show that cadmium stress induces selective recruitment of the AAA+ ATPase Cdc48/p97 to catalyze dissociation of the F-box subunit from the yeast SCFMet30 ligase to block substrate ubiquitylation and trigger downstream events. Our results not only provide an additional layer of ubiquitin ligase regulation but also suggest that targeted, signal-dependent dissociation of multisubunit enzyme complexes is an important mechanism in control of enzyme function.
PMCID: PMC3483439  PMID: 23000173
12.  Fbh1 Limits Rad51-Dependent Recombination at Blocked Replication Forks▿ ‡  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(17):4742-4756.
Controlling the loading of Rad51 onto DNA is important for governing when and how homologous recombination is used. Here we use a combination of genetic assays and indirect immunofluorescence to show that the F-box DNA helicase (Fbh1) functions in direct opposition to the Rad52 orthologue Rad22 to curb Rad51 loading onto DNA in fission yeast. Surprisingly, this activity is unnecessary for limiting spontaneous direct-repeat recombination. Instead it appears to play an important role in preventing recombination when replication forks are blocked and/or broken. When overexpressed, Fbh1 specifically reduces replication fork block-induced recombination, as well as the number of Rad51 nuclear foci that are induced by replicative stress. These abilities are dependent on its DNA helicase/translocase activity, suggesting that Fbh1 exerts its control on recombination by acting as a Rad51 disruptase. In accord with this, overexpression of Fbh1 also suppresses the high levels of recombinant formation and Rad51 accumulation at a site-specific replication fork barrier in a strain lacking the Rad51 disruptase Srs2. Similarly overexpression of Srs2 suppresses replication fork block-induced gene conversion events in an fbh1Δ mutant, although an inability to suppress deletion events suggests that Fbh1 has a distinct functionality, which is not readily substituted by Srs2.
PMCID: PMC2725720  PMID: 19546232
13.  The Papillomavirus E7 Oncoprotein Is Ubiquitinated by UbcH7 and Cullin 1- and Skp2-Containing E3 Ligase 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(10):5338-5346.
Recurrent infections with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are associated with human cervical cancers. All HPV-associated cancer tissues express the viral oncoproteins E6 and E7, which stimulate cell growth. The expression of E7 is crucial for both the initiation and the maintenance of HPV-associated cancer. Recent studies showed that the level of E7 in cancer cells is regulated by ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis through the 26S proteasome. In this study, we characterized the enzymes involved in the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of E7. We show that UbcH7, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, is specifically involved in the ubiquitination of E7. Furthermore, we show that E7 interacts with the SCF (Skp-Cullin-F box) ubiquitin ligase complex containing Cullin 1 (Cul1) and Skp2 and can be ubiquitinated by the Cul1-containing ubiquitin ligase in vitro. Coimmunoprecipitation analyses revealed that E7 interacts with Skp2 and Cul1 in vivo. Finally, the half-life of E7 was found to be significantly longer in Skp2−/− mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) than in wild-type MEFs. Taken together, these results suggest that the Cul1- and Skp2-containing ubiquitin ligase plays a role in the ubiquitination and proteolysis of E7. In HPV type 16-containing cervical carcinoma cell line Caski, E7 localizes to both the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Brief treatment of Caski cells with MG132 (a proteasome inhibitor) causes the accumulation of E7 in discrete nuclear bodies. These nuclear bodies are detergent insoluble and contain polyubiquitinated E7. We suggest that E7 relocates to specific nuclear bodies for proteolysis in HPV-containing epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC400333  PMID: 15113913
14.  A novel gene, MdSSK1, as a component of the SCF complex rather than MdSBP1 can mediate the ubiquitination of S-RNase in apple 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2014;65(12):3121-3131.
The related components of the SCF complex in apple were cloned and it was proved that an SCF complex containing MdSSK1 rather than MdSBP1 can mediate the ubiquitination of S-RNase.
As a core factor in S-RNase-based gametophytic self-incompatibility (GSI), the SCF (SKP1–Cullin1–F-box-Rbx1) complex (including pollen determinant SLF, S-locus-F-box) functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase on non-self S-RNase. The SCF complex is formed by SKP1 bridging between SLF, CUL1, and Rbx1; however, it is not known whether an SCF complex lacking SKP1 can mediate the ubiquitination of S-RNase. Three SKP1-like genes from pollen were cloned based on the structural features of the SLF-interacting-SKP1-like (SSK) gene and the ‘Golden Delicious’ apple genome. These genes have a motif of five amino acids following the standard ‘WAFE’ at the C terminal and, in addition, contain eight sheets and two helices. All three genes were expressed exclusively in pollen. In the yeast two-hybrid and pull-down assays only one was found to interact with MdSFBB and MdCUL1, suggesting it is the SLF-interacting SKP1-like gene in apple which was named MdSSK1. In vitro experiments using MdSSK1, S2-MdSFBB1 (S2-Malus domestica S-locus-F-box brother) and MdCUL1 proteins incubated with S 2-RNase and ubiquitin revealed that the SCF complex ubiquitinylates S-RNase in vitro, while MdSBP1 (Malus domestica S-RNase binding protein 1) could not functionally replace MdSSK1 in the SCF complex in ubiquitinylating S-RNase. According to the above experiments, MdSBP1 is probably the only factor responsible for recognition with S-RNase, while not a component of the SCF complex, and an SCF complex containing MdSSK1 is required for mediating the ubiquitination of S-RNase.
PMCID: PMC4071834  PMID: 24759884
Apple; SCF complex; self-incompatibility; S-RNase; SSK; ubiquitin.
15.  Role of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe F-Box DNA Helicase in Processing Recombination Intermediates 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(18):8074-8083.
In an effort to identify novel genes involved in recombination repair, we isolated fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutants sensitive to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and a synthetic lethal with rad2. A gene that complements such mutations was isolated from the S. pombe genomic library, and subsequent analysis identified it as the fbh1 gene encoding the F-box DNA helicase, which is conserved in mammals but not conserved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. An fbh1 deletion mutant is moderately sensitive to UV, MMS, and γ rays. The rhp51 (RAD51 ortholog) mutation is epistatic to fbh1. fbh1 is essential for viability in stationary-phase cells and in the absence of either Srs2 or Rqh1 DNA helicase. In each case, lethality is suppressed by deletion of the recombination gene rhp57. These results suggested that fbh1 acts downstream of rhp51 and rhp57. Following UV irradiation or entry into the stationary phase, nuclear chromosomal domains of the fbh1Δ mutant shrank, and accumulation of some recombination intermediates was suggested by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Focus formation of Fbh1 protein was induced by treatment that damages DNA. Thus, the F-box DNA helicase appears to process toxic recombination intermediates, the formation of which is dependent on the function of Rhp51.
PMCID: PMC1234317  PMID: 16135799
16.  The Cyclin F-Ribonucleotide Reductase M2 axis controls genome integrity and DNA repair 
Cell  2012;149(5):1023-1034.
F-box proteins are the substrate binding subunits of SCF (Skp1-Cul1-F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase complexes. Using affinity purifications and mass spectrometry, we identified RRM2 (the ribonucleotide reductase family member 2) as a new interactor of the F-box protein Cyclin F. Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) catalyzes the conversion of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs), which are necessary for both replicative and repair DNA synthesis. We found that, during G2, following CDK-mediated phosphorylation of Thr33, RRM2 is degraded via SCFCyclin F to maintain balanced dNTP pools and genome stability. After DNA damage, Cyclin F is downregulated in an ATR-dependent manner to allow accumulation of RRM2. Defective elimination of Cyclin F delays DNA repair and sensitizes cells to DNA damage, a phenotype that is reverted by expressing a non-degradable RRM2 mutant. In summary, we have identified a novel biochemical pathway that controls the abundance of dNTPs and ensures efficient DNA repair in response to genotoxic stress.
PMCID: PMC3616325  PMID: 22632967
17.  The F-Box DNA Helicase Fbh1 Prevents Rhp51-Dependent Recombination without Mediator Proteins 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(18):8084-8096.
A key step in homologous recombination is the loading of Rad51 onto single-stranded DNA to form a nucleoprotein filament that promotes homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange. Mediator proteins, such as Rad52 and Rad55-Rad57, are thought to aid filament assembly by overcoming an inhibitory effect of the single-stranded-DNA-binding protein replication protein A. Here we show that mediator proteins are also required to enable fission yeast Rad51 (called Rhp51) to function in the presence of the F-box DNA helicase Fbh1. In particular, we show that the critical function of Rad22 (an orthologue of Rad52) in promoting Rhp51-dependent recombination and DNA repair can be mostly circumvented by deleting fbh1. Similarly, the reduced growth/viability and DNA damage sensitivity of an fbh1− mutant are variously suppressed by deletion of any one of the mediators Rad22, Rhp55, and Swi5. From these data we propose that Rhp51 action is controlled through an interplay between Fbh1 and the mediator proteins. Colocalization of Fbh1 with Rhp51 damage-induced foci suggests that this interplay occurs at the sites of nucleoprotein filament assembly. Furthermore, analysis of different fbh1 mutant alleles suggests that both the F-box and helicase activities of Fbh1 contribute to controlling Rhp51.
PMCID: PMC1234329  PMID: 16135800
18.  FBH1 protects melanocytes from transformation and is deregulated in melanomas 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(7):1128-1132.
FBH1 is a member of the UvrD family of DNA helicases and plays a crucial role in the response to DNA replication stress. In particular, upon DNA replication stress, FBH1 promotes double-strand breakage and activation of the DNA-PK and ATM signaling cascades in a helicase-dependent manner. In the present manuscript, we show that FBH1 is often deleted or mutated in melanoma cells, which results in their increased survival in response to replicative stress. Accordingly, FBH1 depletion promotes UV-mediated transformation of human melanocytes. Thus, FBH1 inactivation appears to contribute to oncogenic transformation by allowing survival of cells undergoing replicative stress due to external factors such as UV irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3646868  PMID: 23466708
FBH1; F-box protein; helicase; DNA replication stress; melanoma
19.  Hijacking of the Host SCF Ubiquitin Ligase Machinery by Plant Pathogens 
The SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase complex mediates polyubiquitination of proteins targeted for degradation, thereby controlling a plethora of biological processes in eukaryotic cells. Although this ubiquitination machinery is found and functional only in eukaryotes, many non-eukaryotic pathogens also encode F-box proteins, the critical subunits of the SCF complex. Increasing evidence indicates that such non-eukaryotic F-box proteins play an essential role in subverting or exploiting the host ubiquitin/proteasome system for efficient pathogen infection. A recent bioinformatic analysis has identified more than 70 F-box proteins in 22 different bacterial species, suggesting that use of pathogen-encoded F-box effectors in the host cell may be a widespread infection strategy. In this review, we focus on plant pathogen-encoded F-box effectors, such as VirF of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, GALAs of Ralstonia solanacearum, and P0 of Poleroviruses, and discuss the molecular mechanism by which plant pathogens use these factors to manipulate the host cell for their own benefit.
PMCID: PMC3355745  PMID: 22645554
F-box; SCF complex; ubiquitin; protein degradation; Agrobacterium; Ralstonia; Polerovirus
20.  Molecular Basis for Lysine Specificity in the Yeast Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzyme Cdc34 ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(10):2316-2329.
Ubiquitin (Ub)-conjugating enzymes (E2s) and ubiquitin ligases (E3s) catalyze the attachment of Ub to lysine residues in substrates and Ub during monoubiquitination and polyubiquitination. Lysine selection is important for the generation of diverse substrate-Ub structures, which provides versatility to this pathway in the targeting of proteins to different fates. The mechanisms of lysine selection remain poorly understood, with previous studies suggesting that the ubiquitination site(s) is selected by the E2/E3-mediated positioning of a lysine(s) toward the E2/E3 active site. By studying the polyubiquitination of Sic1 by the E2 protein Cdc34 and the RING E3 Skp1/Cul1/F-box (SCF) protein, we now demonstrate that in addition to E2/E3-mediated positioning, proximal amino acids surrounding the lysine residues in Sic1 and Ub are critical for ubiquitination. This mechanism is linked to key residues composing the catalytic core of Cdc34 and independent of SCF. Changes to these core residues altered the lysine preference of Cdc34 and specified whether this enzyme monoubiquitinated or polyubiquitinated Sic1. These new findings indicate that compatibility between amino acids surrounding acceptor lysine residues and key amino acids in the catalytic core of ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes is an important mechanism for lysine selection during ubiquitination.
PMCID: PMC2863694  PMID: 20194622
21.  Role of the F-Box Protein Skp2 in Adhesion-Dependent Cell Cycle Progression 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;153(7):1381-1390.
Cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a requirement for proliferation that is typically lost in malignant cells. In the absence of adhesion, nontransformed cells arrest in G1 with increased levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27. We have reported previously that the degradation of p27 requires its phosphorylation on Thr-187 and is mediated by Skp2, an F-box protein that associates with Skp1, Cul1, and Roc1/Rbx1 to form the SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase complex. Here, we show that the accumulation of Skp2 protein is dependent on both cell adhesion and growth factors but that the induction of Skp2 mRNA is exclusively dependent on cell adhesion to the ECM. Conversely, the expression of the other three subunits of the SCFSkp2 complex is independent of cell anchorage. Phosphorylation of p27 on Thr-187 is also not affected significantly by the loss of cell adhesion, demonstrating that increased p27 stability is not dependent on p27 dephosphorylation. Significantly, ectopic expression of Skp2 in nonadherent G1 cells resulted in p27 downregulation, entry into S phase, and cell division. The ability to induce adhesion-independent cell cycle progression was potentiated by coexpressing Skp2 with cyclin D1 but not with cyclin E, indicating that Skp2 and cyclin D1 cooperate to rescue proliferation in suspension cells. Our study shows that Skp2 is a key target of ECM signaling that controls cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC2150734  PMID: 11425869
F-box protein; SCF; Skp2; p27; cell adhesion control
22.  Modification of Cul1 regulates its association with proteasomal subunits 
Cell Division  2006;1:5.
Ubiquitylation targets proteins for degradation by the 26S proteasome. Some yeast and plant ubiquitin ligases, including the highly conserved SCF (Skp1/Cul1/F-box protein) complex, have been shown to associate with proteasomes. We sought to characterize interactions between SCF complexes and proteasomes in mammalian cells.
We found that the binding of SCF complexes to proteasomes is conserved in higher eukaryotes. The Cul1 subunit associated with both sub-complexes of the proteasome, and high molecular weight forms of Cul1 bound to the 19S proteasome. Cul1 is ubiquitylated in vivo. Ubiquitylation of Cul1 promotes its binding to the S5a subunit of the 19S sub-complex without affecting Cul1 stability.
The association of ubiquitylating enzymes with proteasomes may be an additional means to target ubiquitylated substrates for degradation.
PMCID: PMC1479330  PMID: 16759355
23.  Dysregulation of core components of SCF complex in poly-glutamine disorders 
Cell Death & Disease  2012;3(11):e428-.
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.
PMCID: PMC3542602  PMID: 23171848
Cullin1; E3 ligase; Huntington's disease; neurodegeneration; SCF
24.  The ubiquitin proteasome system – Implications for cell cycle control and the targeted treatment of cancer 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1843(1):10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.02.028.
Two families of E3 ubiquitin ligases are prominent in cell cycle regulation and mediate the timely and precise ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent degradation of key cell cycle proteins: the SCF (Skp1/Cul1/F-box protein) complex and the APC/C (Anaphase Promoting Complex or Cyclosome). While certain SCF ligases drive cell cycle progression throughout the cell cycle, APC/C (in complex with either of two substrate recruiting proteins: Cdc20 and Cdh1) orchestrates exit from mitosis (APC/CCdc20) and establishes a stable G1 phase (APC/CCdh1). Upon DNA damage or perturbation of the normal cell cycle, both ligases are involved in checkpoint activation. Mechanistic insight into these processes has significantly improved over the last ten years, largely due to a better understanding of APC/C and the functional characterization of multiple F-box proteins, the variable substrate recruiting components of SCF ligases. Here, we review the role of SCF- and APC/C-mediated ubiquitylation in the normal and perturbed cell cycle and discuss potential clinical implications of SCF and APC/C functions.
PMCID: PMC3694769  PMID: 23466868
Ubiquitin proteasome system; cell cycle; SCF complex; F-box; APC/C; cancer
25.  CUL1 regulates TOC1 protein stability in the Arabidopsis circadian clock 
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.
PMCID: PMC2976475  PMID: 18433436
circadian rhythms; CUL1; post-translational regulation; ubiquitin ligase; proteasome; Arabidopsis

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