The post-translational attachment of one or several ubiquitin molecules to a protein generates a variety of targeting signals that are used in many different ways in the cell. Ubiquitination can alter the activity, localization, protein-protein interactions or stability of the targeted protein. Further, a very large number of proteins are subject to regulation by ubiquitin-dependent processes, meaning that virtually all cellular functions are impacted by these pathways. Nearly a hundred enzymes from five different gene families (the deubiquitinating enzymes or DUBs), reverse this modification by hydrolyzing the (iso)peptide bond tethering ubiquitin to itself or the target protein. Four of these families are thiol proteases and one is a metalloprotease. DUBs of the Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase (UCH) family act on small molecule adducts of ubiquitin, process the ubiquitin proprotein, and trim ubiquitin from the distal end of a polyubiquitin chain. Ubiquitin Specific Proteases (USP) tend to recognize and encounter their substrates by interaction of the variable regions of their sequence with the substrate protein directly, or with scaffolds or substrate adapters in multiprotein complexes. Ovarian Tumor (OTU) domain DUBs show remarkable specificity for different Ub chain linkages and may have evolved to recognize substrates on the basis of those linkages. The Josephin family of DUBs may specialize in distinguishing between polyubiquitin chains of different lengths. Finally, the JAB1/MPN+/MOV34 (JAMM) domain metalloproteases cleave the isopeptide bond near the attachment point of polyubiquitin and substrate, as well as being highly specific for the K63 poly-Ub linkage. These DUBs regulate proteolysis by: directly interacting with and co-regulating E3 ligases; altering the level of substrate ubiquitination; hydrolyzing or remodeling ubiquitinated and poly-ubiquitinated substrates; acting in specific locations in the cell and altering the localization of the target protein; and acting on proteasome bound substrates to facilitate or inhibit proteolysis. Thus, the scope and regulation of the ubiquitin pathway is very similar to that of phosphorylation, with the DUBs serving the same functions as the phosphatase.
Deubiquitinating enzyme; Ubiquitin; Poly-Ubiquitin; Proteolysis; Regulation
The human BAP1 deubiquitinating enzyme is a chromatin-bound transcriptional regulator and tumor suppressor. BAP1 functions in suppressing cell proliferation, yet its role in the DNA damage response pathway is less understood. In this study we characterized DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of BAP1 at Serine 592 (pS592) and the cellular outcomes of this modification. In contrast to the majority of BAP1, pS592-BAP1 is predominantly dissociated from chromatin. These findings support a model whereby stress induced phosphorylation functions to displace BAP1 from specific promoters. We hypothesize that this regulates the transcription of a subset of genes involved in the response to DNA damage.
BAP1; Deubiquitinating enzyme; DNA Damage; Phosphorylation; Ubiquitin
The covalent attachment of the small ubiquitin-like protein modifier (SUMO) to target proteins results in modifications in their activity, binding interactions, localization or half-life. The reversal of this modification is catalyzed by SUMO-specific processing proteases (SENPs). Mammals contain four SUMO paralogs and six SENP enzymes. Our studies describe a systematic analysis of human SENPs, integrating estimates of relative selectivity for SUMO1 and SUMO2, and kinetic measurements of recombinant C-terminal SENP catalytic domains (cSENPs). We first characterized the reaction of each endogenous SENP and their catalytic domains (cSENP) with HA-tagged SUMO1 and SUMO2 vinyl sulfones (HA-SUMO-VS), active site-directed irreversible inhibitors of SENPs. We found that all cSENPs and endogenous SENP1 react with both SUMO paralogs, while all other endogeneous SENPs in mammalian cells and tissues display high selectivity for SUMO2-VS. To obtain more quantitative data, the kinetic properties of purified cSENPs were determined using SUMO1 or SUMO2-amidomethyl coumarin (SUMO-AMC) as substrate. All enzymes bind their respective substrates with high affinity. cSENP1 and cSENP2 process either SUMO substrate with similar affinity and catalytic efficiency; cSENP5 and cSENP6 show marked catalytic specificity for SUMO2 as measured by KM and kcat while cSENP7 works only on SUMO2. Compared to cSENPs, recombinant full-length SENP1 and SENP2 show differences in SUMO selectivity indicating that paralog specificity is influenced by the presence of the variable N-terminal domain of each SENP. Our data suggests that SUMO2 metabolism is more dynamic than that of SUMO1 since most SENPs display a marked preference for SUMO2.
SUMO; paralogs; substrate specificity; SENP; desumoylation
Deubiquitinating enzymes; polyubiquitin; ubiquitin isoforms; substrate recognition; ubiquitin receptors
Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are proteases that process ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like gene products, reverse the modification of proteins by a single ubiquitin (or ubiquitin-like protein), and remodel polyubiquitin (or ubiquitin-like) chains on target proteins. The human genome encodes nearly 100 DUBs with specificity for ubiquitin in five families: the UCH, USP, OTU, Josephin, and JAMM families. Four families are cysteine proteases, while the later is a family of metalloproteases. Most DUB activity is cryptic and active site rearrangements often occur during the binding of ubiquitin and/or scaffold proteins. DUBs with specificity for ubiquitin contain multiple domains with insertions and extensions modulating DUB substrate specificity, protein-protein interactions, and cellular localization. Binding partners and multi-protein complexes with which DUBs associate modulate DUB activity and substrate specificity. Quantitative studies of activity and protein-protein interactions, together with genetic studies and the advent of RNAi, have lead to new insights into the function of yeast and human DUBs. This review will discuss ubiquitin-specific DUBs, some of the generalizations emerging from recent studies of the regulation of DUB activity, and their roles in various cellular processes. Specific examples are drawn from studies of protein degradation, DNA repair, chromatin remodeling, cell cycle regulation, endocytosis, and modulation of signaling kinases.
Ubiquitin; Proteasome; Histone; Cell cycle; Endocytosis; DNA Damage; Signal Transduction
BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein-1), a deubiquitinating enzyme of unknown cellular function, is mutated in breast and lung cancers. In this study, we have demonstrated for the first time that BAP1 has tumor suppressor activity in vivo by showing that BAP1 can suppress tumorigenicity of lung cancer cells in athymic nude mice. We show that BAP1 fulfills another criterion of a genuine tumor suppressor because cancer-associated mutations in BAP1 result in a protein deficient in deubiquitinating activity. We show for the first time that one of the two predicted nuclear targeting motifs is required for nuclear localization of BAP1 and that a truncation mutant found in a lung cancer cell line results in BAP1 that fails to localize to the nucleus. Furthermore, we demonstrate that deubiquitinating activity and nuclear localization are both required for BAP1-mediated tumor suppression in nude mice. We show that BAP1 exerts its tumor suppressor functions by affecting the cell cycle; speeding the progression through the G1/S checkpoint and inducing cell death via a process that has characteristics of both apoptosis and necrosis. Surprisingly, BAP1-mediated growth suppression is independent of wild-type BRCA1. Since deubiquitinating enzymes are components of the ubiquitin proteasome system, this pathway has emerged as an important target for anti-cancer drugs. The identification of the deubiquitinating enzyme BAP1 as a tumor suppressor may lead to further understanding of how the ubiquitin proteasome system contributes to cancer and aid in the identification of new targets for cancer therapy.
BAP1; BRCA1; ubiquitin; cancer
Yeast prions are self-perpetuating QN-rich amyloids, that control heritable traits and serve as a model for mammalian amyloidoses. De novo prion formation by overproduced prion protein is facilitated by other aggregated QN-rich protein(s), and is influenced by alterations of protein homeostasis. Here we explore the mechanism by which the Las17-binding protein Lsb2 (Pin3) promotes conversion of the translation termination factor Sup35 into its prion form [PSI+]. We show that Lsb2 localizes with some Sup35 aggregates and that Lsb2 is a short-lived protein whose levels are controlled via the ubiquitin-proteasome system and are dramatically increased by stress. Loss of Lsb2 decreases stability of [PSI+] after brief heat shock. Mutations interfering with Lsb2 ubiquitination increase prion induction, while a mutation eliminating association of Lsb2 with the actin cytoskeleton blocks its aggregation and prion–inducing ability. These findings directly implicate the UPS and actin cytoskeleton in regulating prions via a stress-inducible QN-rich protein.
BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) is a 729 residue, nuclear-localized deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) that displays tumor suppressor properties in the BAP1-null NCI-H226 lung carcinoma cell line. Studies that have altered BAP1 cellular levels or enzymatic activity have reported defects in cell cycle progression, notably at the G1/S transition. Recently BAP1 was shown to associate with the transcriptional regulator host cell factor 1 (HCF-1). The BAP1/HCF-1 interaction is mediated by the HCF-1 Kelch domain and an HCF-1 binding motif (HBM) within BAP1. HCF-1 is modified with ubiquitin in vivo, and ectopic studies suggest BAP1 deubiquitinates HCF-1. HCF-1 is a chromatin-associated protein thought to both activate and repress transcription by linking appropriate histone-modifying enzymes to a subset of transcription factors. One known role of HCF-1 is to promote cell cycle progression at the G1/S boundary by recruiting H3K4 histone methyltransferases to the E2F1 transcription factor so that genes required for S-phase can be transcribed. Given the robust associations between BAP1/HCF-1 and HCF-1/E2Fs, it is reasonable to speculate that BAP1 influences cell proliferation at G1/S by co-regulating transcription from HCF-1/E2F-governed promoters
BAP1; Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase; Protease; Deubiquitylase
The polyubiquitin signal is post-translationally attached to a large number of proteins, often directing formation of macromolecular complexes resulting in the translocation, assembly or degradation of the attached protein. Recent structural and functional studies reveal general mechanisms by which different architectures and length of the signal are distinguished.
SUMO proteins are small ubiquitin-related modifiers. All SUMOs are synthesized as propeptides that are post-translationally cleaved prior to conjugation. After processing, SUMOs become covalently conjugated to cellular targets through a pathway that is similar to ubiquitination. Ubiquitin like protein proteases/Sentrin specific proteases (Ulp/SENPs) mediate both processing and deconjugation of SUMOs. The action of Ulp/SENPs makes SUMOylation a highly dynamic post-translational modification. To investigate how Ulp/SENPs are regulated in a developmental context, we isolated and characterized all Ulp/SENPs in Xenopus laevis. Xenopus possess homologues of mammalian SENP3, 5, 6 and 7. All of these enzymes reacted with HA-tagged vinyl sulfone derivatives of SUMO-2 (HA-SU2-VS) but not SUMO-1 (HA-SU1-VS), suggesting that they act primarily on SUMO-2 and -3. In contrast, Xenopus possess a single member of the SENP1/SENP2 subfamily of Ulp/SENPs, most closely related to mammalian SENP1. Xenopus SENP1 reacted with HA-SU1-VS and HA-SU2-VS, suggesting that it acts on all SUMO paralogues. We analyzed the mRNA and protein levels for each of the Ulp/SENPs through development; we found that they show distinct patterns of expression that may involve both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Finally, we have characterized the developmental function of the most abundant Ulp/SENP found within Xenopus eggs, SENP3. Depletion of SENP3 using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides (morpholinos) caused accumulation of high molecular weight SUMO-2/3 conjugated species, defects in developing embryos and changes in the expression of some genes regulated by the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathway. These findings collectively indicate that SUMO proteases are both highly regulated and essential for normal development.
Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are a family of proteases responsible for the specific removal of ubiquitin attached to target proteins and thus control the free cellular pools of this molecule. DUB activity is usually assayed using full-length ubiquitin, and these enzymes generally show low activity on small substrates that constitute the P4-P1 LRGG C-terminal motif of ubiquitin. To gain insight into the C-terminal recognition region of ubiquitin by DUBs we synthesized positional scanning libraries of fluorogenic tetrapeptides and tested them on three examples of human DUBs (OTU-1, Iso-T and UCH-L3) and one viral ubiquitin specific protease – Plpro from West Nile virus. In most cases the results show flexibility in the P4 position, very high specificity for Arg in P3 position and Gly at P2 – in accord with the sequence of the natural substrate ubiquitin. Surprisingly, screening of the P2 position revealed that UCH-L3 in contrast to all the other tested DUBs, demonstrates substantial tolerance of Ala and Val at P2, and a parallel analysis using the appropriate mutation of the full-length ubiquitin confirms this. We have also used an optimal tetrapeptide substrate, Ac-LRGG-AFC to investigate the activation mechanism of DUBs by ubiquitin and elevated salts concentration. Together, our results reveal the importance of the dual features of 1) substrate specificity and 2) the mechanism of ubiquitin binding in determining deubiquitination by this group of proteases.
combinatorial chemistry; fluorogenic substrate; protease; DUB; ubiquitin
Burkholderia mallei, a category B biothreat agent, is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the zoonotic disease glanders. The B. mallei VirAG two-component regulatory system activates the transcription of ∼60 genes, including a large virulence gene cluster encoding a type VI secretion system (T6SS). The B. mallei tssM gene encodes a putative ubiquitin-specific protease that is physically linked to, and transcriptionally coregulated with, the T6SS gene cluster. Mass spectrometry and immunoblot analysis demonstrated that TssM was secreted in a virAG-dependent manner in vitro. Surprisingly, the T6SS was found to be dispensable for the secretion of TssM. The C-terminal half of TssM, which contains Cys and His box motifs conserved in eukaryotic deubiquitinases, was purified and biochemically characterized. Recombinant TssM hydrolyzed multiple ubiquitinated substrates and the cysteine at position 102 was critical for enzymatic activity. The tssM gene was expressed within 1 h after uptake of B. mallei into RAW 264.7 murine macrophages, suggesting that the TssM deubiquitinase is produced in this intracellular niche. Although the physiological substrate(s) is currently unknown, the TssM deubiquitinase may provide B. mallei a selective advantage in the intracellular environment during infection.
Otubain 1 belongs to the ovarian tumor (OTU) domain class of cysteine protease deubiquitinating enzymes. We show here that human otubain 1 (hOtu1) is highly linkage-specific, cleaving Lys48 (K48)-linked polyubiquitin but not K63-, K29-, K6-, or K11-linked polyubiquitin, or linear α-linked polyubiquitin. Cleavage is not limited to either end of a polyubiquitin chain, and both free and substrate-linked polyubiquitin are disassembled. Intriguingly, cleavage of K48-diubiquitin by hOtu1 can be inhibited by diubiquitins of various linkage types, as well as by monoubiquitin. NMR studies and activity assays suggest that both the proximal and distal units of K48-diubiquitin bind to hOtu1. Reaction of Cys23 with ubiquitin-vinylsulfone identified a ubiquitin binding site that is distinct from the active site, which includes Cys91. Occupancy of the active site is needed to enable tight binding to the second site. We propose that distinct binding sites for the ubiquitins on either side of the scissile bond allow hOtu1 to discriminate among different isopeptide linkages in polyubiquitin substrates. Bidentate binding may be a general strategy used to achieve linkage-specific deubiquitination.
deubiquitination; isopeptide; linkage specificity; otubain; polyubiquitin
DNAs harbored in both nuclei and mitochondria of eukaryotic cells are subject to continuous oxidative damage resulting from normal metabolic activities or environmental insults. Oxidative DNA damage is primarily reversed by the base excision repair (BER) pathway, initiated by N-glycosylase apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) lyase proteins. To execute an appropriate repair response, BER components must be distributed to accommodate levels of genotoxic stress that may vary considerably between nuclei and mitochondria, depending on the growth state and stress environment of the cell. Numerous examples exist where cells respond to signals, resulting in relocalization of proteins involved in key biological transactions. To address whether such dynamic localization contributes to efficient organelle-specific DNA repair, we determined the intracellular localization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae N-glycosylase/AP lyases, Ntg1 and Ntg2, in response to nuclear and mitochondrial oxidative stress. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that Ntg1 is differentially localized to nuclei and mitochondria, likely in response to the oxidative DNA damage status of the organelle. Sumoylation is associated with targeting of Ntg1 to nuclei containing oxidative DNA damage. These studies demonstrate that trafficking of DNA repair proteins to organelles containing high levels of oxidative DNA damage may be a central point for regulating BER in response to oxidative stress.
Ubiquitin-like protein/sentrin-specific proteases (Ulp/SENPs) mediate both processing and deconjugation of small ubiquitin-like modifier proteins (SUMOs). Here, we show that Ulp/SENP family members SENP3 and SENP5 localize within the granular component of the nucleolus, a subnucleolar compartment that contains B23/nucleophosmin. B23/nucleophosmin is an abundant shuttling phosphoprotein, which plays important roles in ribosome biogenesis and which has been strongly implicated in hematopoietic malignancies. Moreover, we found that B23/nucleophosmin binds SENP3 and SENP5 in Xenopus laevis egg extracts and that it is essential for stable accumulation of SENP3 and SENP5 in mammalian tissue culture cells. After either codepletion of SENP3 and SENP5 or depletion of B23/nucleophosmin, we observed accumulation of SUMO proteins within nucleoli. Finally, depletion of these Ulp/SENPs causes defects in ribosome biogenesis reminiscent of phenotypes observed in the absence of B23/nucleophosmin. Together, these results suggest that regulation of SUMO deconjugation may be a major facet of B23/nucleophosmin function in vivo.
Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), a common human respiratory pathogen, is associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract disease in children and adults. Currently, no antiviral drugs are available to treat CoV infections; thus, potential drug targets need to be identified and characterized. Here, we identify HCoV-NL63 replicase gene products and characterize two viral papain-like proteases (PLPs), PLP1 and PLP2, which process the viral replicase polyprotein. We generated polyclonal antisera directed against two of the predicted replicase nonstructural proteins (nsp3 and nsp4) and detected replicase proteins from HCoV-NL63-infected LLC-MK2 cells by immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and Western blot assays. We found that HCoV-NL63 replicase products can be detected at 24 h postinfection and that these proteins accumulate in perinuclear sites, consistent with membrane-associated replication complexes. To determine which viral proteases are responsible for processing these products, we generated constructs representing the amino-terminal end of the HCoV-NL63 replicase gene and established protease cis-cleavage assays. We found that PLP1 processes cleavage site 1 to release nsp1, whereas PLP2 is responsible for processing both cleavage sites 2 and 3 to release nsp2 and nsp3. We expressed and purified PLP2 and used a peptide-based assay to identify the cleavage sites recognized by this enzyme. Furthermore, by using K48-linked hexa-ubiquitin substrate and ubiquitin-vinylsulfone inhibitor specific for deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), we confirmed that, like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV PLpro, HCoV-NL63 PLP2 has DUB activity. The identification of the replicase products and characterization of HCoV-NL63 PLP DUB activity will facilitate comparative studies of CoV proteases and aid in the development of novel antiviral reagents directed against human pathogens such as HCoV-NL63 and SARS-CoV.
Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) processing and deconjugation are mediated by sentrin-specific proteases/ubiquitin-like proteases (SENP/Ulps). We show that SUMO-specific protease 1 (SUSP1), a mammalian SENP/Ulp, localizes within the nucleoplasm. SUSP1 depletion within cell lines expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fusions to individual SUMO paralogues caused redistribution of EGFP-SUMO2 and -SUMO3, particularly into promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies. Further analysis suggested that this change resulted primarily from a deficit of SUMO2/3-deconjugation activity. Under these circumstances, PML bodies became enlarged and increased in number. We did not observe a comparable redistribution of EGFP-SUMO1. We have investigated the specificity of SUSP1 using vinyl sulfone inhibitors and model substrates. We found that SUSP1 has a strong paralogue bias toward SUMO2/3 and that it acts preferentially on substrates containing three or more SUMO2/3 moieties. Together, our findings argue that SUSP1 may play a specialized role in dismantling highly conjugated SUMO2 and -3 species that is critical for PML body maintenance.
Cdc48 (p97/VCP) is an AAA-ATPase molecular chaperone whose cellular functions are facilitated by its interaction with ubiquitin binding cofactors (e.g., Npl4-Ufd1 and Shp1). Several studies have shown that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Doa1 (Ufd3/Zzz4) and its mammalian homologue, PLAA, interact with Cdc48. However, the function of this interaction has not been determined, nor has a physiological link between these proteins been demonstrated. Herein, we demonstrate that Cdc48 interacts directly with the C-terminal PUL domain of Doa1. We find that Doa1 possesses a novel ubiquitin binding domain (we propose the name PFU domain, for PLAA family ubiquitin binding domain), which appears to be necessary for Doa1 function. Our data suggest that the PUL and PFU domains of Doa1 promote the formation of a Doa1-Cdc48-ubiquitin ternary complex, potentially allowing for the recruitment of ubiquitinated proteins to Cdc48. DOA1 and CDC48 mutations are epistatic, suggesting that their interaction is physiologically relevant. Lastly, we provide evidence of functional conservation within the PLAA family by showing that a human-yeast chimera binds to ubiquitin and complements doa1Δ phenotypes in yeast. Combined, our data suggest that Doa1 plays a physiological role as a ubiquitin binding cofactor of Cdc48 and that human PLAA may play an analogous role via its interaction with p97/VCP.
Modification of proteins by ubiquitin (Ub)-like proteins (UBLs) plays an important role in many cellular processes, including cell cycle progression, nuclear transport, and autophagy. Protein modification occurs via UBL-conjugating and -deconjugating enzymes, which presumably exert a regulatory function by determining the conjugation status of the substrate proteins. To target and identify UBL-modifying enzymes, we produced Nedd8, ISG15, and SUMO-1 in Escherichia coli and equipped them with a C-terminal electrophilic trap (vinyl sulfone [VS]) via an intein-based method. These C-terminally modified UBL probes reacted with purified UBL-activating (E1), -conjugating (E2), and -deconjugating enzymes in a covalent fashion. Modified UBLs were radioiodinated and incubated with cell lysates prepared from mouse cell lines and tissues to allow visualization of polypeptides reactive with individual UBL probes. The cell type- and tissue-specific labeling patterns observed for the UBL probes reflect distinct expression profiles of active enzymes, indicating tissue-specific functions of UBLs. We identify Ub C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) and DEN1/NEDP1/SENP8, in addition to UCH-L3, as proteases with specificity for Nedd8. The Ub-specific protease isopeptidase T/USP5 is shown to react with ISG15-VS. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the desumoylation enzyme SuPr-1 can be modified by SUMO-1-VS, a modification that is dependent on the SuPr-1 active-site cysteine. The UBL probes described here will be valuable tools for the further characterization of the enzymatic pathways that govern modification by UBLs.
Fragile X syndrome is a frequent form of inherited mental retardation
caused by functional loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein,
FMRP. The function of FMRP is unknown, as is the mechanism by which
its loss leads to cognitive deficits. Recent studies have determined
that FMRP is a selective RNA-binding protein associated with polyribosomes, leading
to the hypothesis that FMRP may be involved in translational regulation.
Here we show that purified recombinant FMRP causes a dose-dependent translational
inhibition of brain poly(A) RNA in rabbit reticulocyte lysate without
accelerated mRNA degradation. In our translation reaction FMRP interacts with
other messenger ribonucleoproteins and pre-exposure of FMRP to mRNA
significantly increased the potency of FMRP as a translation inhibitor.
Translation suppression by FMRP is reversed in a trans-acting
manner by the 3′-untranslated portion
of the Fmr1 message, which binds FMRP, suggesting
that FMRP inhibits translation via interacting with mRNA. Consistently
FMRP suppresses translation of the parathyroid hormone transcript,
which binds FMRP, but not the β-globin
transcript, which does not bind FMRP. Moreover, removing the FMRP-binding
site on a translation template abolishes the inhibitory effect of
FMRP. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that FMRP
inhibits translation via interactions with the translation template.