Additional serine/threonine phosphorylation reduces binding affinity but preserves interface topography of substrate proteins to the c-Cbl TKB domain.
ABSTRACT: The E3-ubiquitin ligase, c-Cbl, is a multi-functional scaffolding protein that plays a pivotal role in controlling cell phenotype. As part of the ubiquitination and downregulation process, c-Cbl recognizes targets, such as tyrosine kinases and the Sprouty proteins, by binding to a conserved (NX/R)pY(S/T)XXP motif via its uniquely embedded SH2 domain (TKB domain). We previously outlined the mode of binding between the TKB domain and various substrate peptide motifs, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Sprouty2 (Spry2), and demonstrated that an intrapetidyl hydrogen bond forms between the (pY-1) arginine or (pY-2) asparagine and the phosphorylated tyrosine, which is crucial for binding. Recent reports demonstrated that, under certain types of stimulation, the serine/threonine residues at the pY+1 and/or pY+2 positions within this recognition motif of EGFR and Sprouty2 may be endogenously phosphorylated. Using structural and binding studies, we sought to determine whether this additional phosphorylation could affect the binding of the TKB domain to these peptides and consequently, whether the type of stimulation can dictate the degree to which substrates bind to c-Cbl. Here, we show that additional phosphorylation significantly reduces the binding affinity between the TKB domain and its target proteins, EGFR and Sprouty2, as compared to peptides bearing a single tyrosine phosphorylation. The crystal structure indicates that this is accomplished with minimal changes to the essential intrapeptidyl bond and that the reduced strength of the interaction is due to the charge repulsion between c-Cbl and the additional phosphate group. This obvious reduction in binding affinity, however, indicates that Cbl's interactions with its TKB-centered binding partners may be more favorable in the absence of Ser/Thr phosphorylation, which is stimulation and context specific in vivo. These results demonstrate the importance of understanding the environment in which certain residues are phosphorylated, and the necessity of including this in structural investigations.
Project description:The c-Cbl tyrosine kinase binding domain (Cbl-TKB), essentially an 'embedded' SH2 domain, has a critical role in targeting proteins for ubiquitination. To address how this domain can bind to disparate recognition mofits and to determine whether this results in variations in substrate-binding affinity, we compared crystal structures of the Cbl-TKB domain complexed with phosphorylated peptides of Sprouty2, Sprouty4, epidermal growth factor receptor, Syk, and c-Met receptors and validated the binding with point-mutational analyses using full-length proteins. An obligatory, intrapeptidyl H-bond between the phosphotyrosine and the conserved asparagine or adjacent arginine is essential for binding and orients the peptide into a positively charged pocket on c-Cbl. Surprisingly, c-Met bound to Cbl in the reverse direction, which is unprecedented for SH2 domain binding. The necessity of this intrapeptidyl H-bond was confirmed with isothermal titration calorimetry experiments that also showed Sprouty2 to have the highest binding affinity to c-Cbl; this may enable the selective sequestration of c-Cbl from other target proteins.
Project description:Sprouty proteins are recently identified receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors potentially involved in many developmental processes. Here, we report that Sprouty proteins become tyrosine phosphorylated after growth factor treatment. We identified Tyr55 as a key residue for Sprouty2 phosphorylation and showed that phosphorylation was required for Sprouty2 to inhibit RTK signaling, because a mutant Sprouty2 lacking Tyr55 augmented signaling. We found that tyrosine phosphorylation of Sprouty2 affected neither its subcellular localization nor its interaction with Grb2, FRS2/SNT, or other Sprouty proteins. In contrast, Sprouty2 tyrosine phosphorylation was necessary for its binding to the Src homology 2-like domain of c-Cbl after fibroblast growth factor (FGF) stimulation. To determine whether c-Cbl was required for Sprouty2-dependent cellular events, Sprouty2 was introduced into c-Cbl-wild-type and -null fibroblasts. Sprouty2 efficiently inhibited FGF-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in c-Cbl-null fibroblasts, thus indicating that the FGF-dependent binding of c-Cbl to Sprouty2 was dispensable for its inhibitory activity. However, c-Cbl mediates polyubiquitylation/proteasomal degradation of Sprouty2 in response to FGF. Last, using Src-family pharmacological inhibitors and dominant-negative Src, we showed that a Src-like kinase was required for tyrosine phosphorylation of Sprouty2 by growth factors. Thus, these data highlight a novel negative and positive regulatory loop that allows for the controlled, homeostatic inhibition of RTK signaling.
Project description:The ubiquitin E3 ligase Cbl has been shown to negatively regulate tyrosine kinase receptors, including the stem cell factor receptor/c-Kit. Impaired recruitment of Cbl to c-Kit results in a deregulated positive signalling that eventually can contribute to carcinogenesis. Here, we present results showing that Cbl is activated by the SFKs (Src family kinases) and recruited to c-Kit in order to trigger receptor ubiquitination. We demonstrate that phosphorylated Tyr568 and Tyr936 in c-Kit are involved in direct binding and activation of Cbl and that binding of the TKB domain (tyrosine kinase binding domain) of Cbl to c-Kit is specified by the presence of an isoleucine or leucine residue in position +3 to the phosphorylated tyrosine residue on c-Kit. Apart from the direct association between Cbl and c-Kit, we show that phosphorylation of Cbl by SFK members is required for activation of Cbl to occur. Moreover, we demonstrate that Cbl mediates monoubiquitination of c-Kit and that the receptor is subsequently targeted for lysosomal degradation. Taken together, our findings reveal novel insights into the mechanisms by which Cbl negatively regulates c-Kit-mediated signalling.
Project description:The ubiquitin ligase Cbl mediates ubiquitination of activated receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and interacts with endocytic scaffold complexes, including CIN85/endophilins, to facilitate RTK endocytosis and degradation. Several mechanisms regulate the functions of Cbl to ensure the fine-tuning of RTK signalling and cellular homeostasis. One regulatory mechanism involves the binding of Cbl to Sprouty2, which sequesters Cbl away from activated epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs). Here, we show that Sprouty2 associates with CIN85 and acts at the interface between Cbl and CIN85 to inhibit EGFR downregulation. The CIN85 SH3 domains A and C bind specifically to proline-arginine motifs present in Sprouty2. Intact association between Sprouty2, Cbl and CIN85 is required for inhibition of EGFR endocytosis as well as EGF-induced differentiation of PC12 cells. Moreover, Sprouty4, which lacks CIN85-binding sites, does not inhibit EGFR downregulation, providing a molecular explanation for functional differences between Sprouty isoforms. Sprouty2 therefore acts as an inducible inhibitor of EGFR downregulation by targeting both the Cbl and CIN85 pathways.
Project description:Activation of phospholipase Cgamma1 (PLCgamma1) by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) in endothelial cells in part is responsible for angiogenesis in vivo. The cellular mechanisms exerting negative control over PLCgamma1 activation, however, remain unaddressed. Here by using in vitro and in vivo binding assays, we show that the Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (c-Cbl) E3 ubiquitin ligase constitutively associates with PLCgamma1 via its C-terminal domain and conditionally interacts with VEGFR-2 via the N-terminal/TKB domain. Site-directed mutagenesis of VEGFR-2 showed that full activation of c-Cbl requires its direct association with phospho-tyrosines 1052 and 1057 of VEGFR-2 via its TKB domain and indirect association with phospho-tyrosine 1173 of VEGFR-2 via PLCgamma1. The tertiary complex formation between VEGFR-2, PLCgamma1 and c-Cbl selectively promotes ubiquitylation and suppression of tyrosine phosphorylation of PLCgamma1 by a proteolysis-independent mechanism. Further analysis showed that association of c-Cbl with VEGFR-2 does not impact ubiquitylation, down-regulation, or tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGFR-2. Silencing of c-Cbl by siRNA revealed that endogenous c-Cbl plays an inhibitory role in angiogenesis. Our data demonstrate that corecruitment of c-Cbl and PLCgamma1 to VEGFR-2 serves as a mechanism to fine-tune the angiogenic signal relay of VEGFR-2.
Project description:Sprouty (SPRY) proteins modulate receptor-tyrosine kinase signaling and, thereby, regulate cell migration and proliferation. Here, we have examined the role of endogenous human SPRY2 (hSPRY2) in the regulation of cellular apoptosis. Small inhibitory RNA-mediated silencing of hSPRY2 abolished the anti-apoptotic action of serum in adrenal cortex adenocarcinoma (SW13) cells. Silencing of hSPRY2 decreased serum- or epidermal growth factor (EGF)-elicited activation of AKT and ERK1/2 and reduced the levels of EGF receptor. Silencing of hSPRY2 also inhibited serum-induced activation of p90RSK and decreased phosphorylation of pro-apoptotic protein BAD (BCL2-antagonist of cell death) by p90RSK. Inhibiting both the ERK1/2 and AKT pathways abolished the ability of serum to protect against apoptosis, mimicking the effects of silencing hSPRY2. Serum transactivated the EGF receptor (EGFR), and inhibition of the EGFR by a neutralizing antibody attenuated the anti-apoptotic actions of serum. Consistent with the role of EGFR and perhaps other growth factor receptors in the anti-apoptotic actions of serum, the tyrosine kinase binding domain of c-Cbl (Cbl-TKB) protected against down-regulation of the growth factor receptors such as EGFR and preserved the anti-apoptotic actions of serum when hSpry2 was silenced. Additionally, silencing of Spry2 in c-Cbl null cells did not alter the ability of serum to promote cell survival. Moreover, reintroduction of wild type hSPRY2, but not its mutants that do not bind c-Cbl or CIN85 into SW13 cells after endogenous hSPRY2 had been silenced, restored the anti-apoptotic actions of serum. Overall, we conclude that endogenous hSPRY2-mediated regulation of apoptosis requires c-Cbl and is manifested by the ability of hSPRY2 to sequester c-Cbl and thereby augment signaling via growth factor receptors.
Project description:Amino acid residues 1 to 434 of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl control signaling of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) by enhancing its ubiquitination, down-regulation, and lysosomal degradation. This region of Cbl comprises a tyrosine kinase-binding domain, a linker region, a really interesting new gene finger (RF), and a subset of the residues of the RF tail. In experiments with full-length alanine substitution mutants, we demonstrated that the RF tail of Cbl regulated biochemically distinct checkpoints in the endocytosis of EGFR. The Cbl- and ubiquitin-dependent degradation of the regulator of internalization hSprouty2 was compromised by the Val(431)--> Ala mutation, whereas the Cbl- and EGFR-dependent dephosphorylation or degradation of the endosomal trafficking regulator Hrs was compromised by the Phe(434)--> Ala mutation. Deregulated phosphorylation of Hrs correlated with inhibition of the fusion of early endosomes and of the degradation of EGFR. This study provides the first evidence that Cbl regulates receptor fate by controlling the fusion of sorting endosomes. We postulate that it does so by modulating the abundance of tyrosine-phosphorylated Hrs.
Project description:Cbls are RING ubiquitin ligases that attenuate receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signal transduction. Cbl ubiquitination activity is stimulated by phosphorylation of a linker helix region (LHR) tyrosine residue. To elucidate the mechanism of activation, we determined the structures of human CBL, a CBL-substrate peptide complex and a phosphorylated-Tyr371-CBL-E2-substrate peptide complex, and we compared them with the known structure of a CBL-E2-substrate peptide complex. Structural and biochemical analyses show that CBL adopts an autoinhibited RING conformation, where the RING's E2-binding surface associates with CBL to reduce E2 affinity. Tyr371 phosphorylation activates CBL by inducing LHR conformational changes that eliminate autoinhibition, flip the RING domain and E2 into proximity of the substrate-binding site and transform the RING domain into an enhanced E2-binding module. This activation is required for RTK ubiquitination. Our results present a mechanism for regulation of c-Cbl's activity by autoinhibition and phosphorylation-induced activation.
Project description:Cbl proteins are E3 ubiquitin ligases specialized for the regulation of tyrosine kinases by ubiquitylation. Human Cbl proteins are activated by tyrosine phosphorylation, thus setting up a feedback loop whereby the activation of tyrosine kinases triggers their own degradation. Cbl proteins are targeted to their substrates by a phosphotyrosine-binding SH2 domain. Choanoflagellates, unicellular eukaryotes that are closely related to metazoans, also contain Cbl. The tyrosine kinase complement of choanoflagellates is distinct from that of metazoans, and it is unclear if choanoflagellate Cbl is regulated similarly to metazoan Cbl. Here, we performed structure-function studies on Cbl from the choanoflagellate species Salpingoeca rosetta and found that it undergoes phosphorylation-dependent activation. We show that S. rosetta Cbl can be phosphorylated by S. rosetta Src kinase, and that it can ubiquitylate S. rosetta Src. We also compared the substrate selectivity of human and S. rosetta Cbl by measuring ubiquitylation of Src constructs in which Cbl-recruitment sites are placed in different contexts with respect to the kinase domain. Our results indicate that for both human and S. rosetta Cbl, ubiquitylation depends on proximity and accessibility, rather than being targeted toward specific lysine residues. Our results point to an ancient interplay between phosphotyrosine and ubiquitin signaling in the metazoan lineage.
Project description:Cbl-b is a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase that functions as a negative regulator of T-cell activation and growth factor receptor and nonreceptor-type tyrosine kinase signaling. Cbl-b dysfunction is related to autoimmune diseases and cancers in humans. However, the molecular mechanism regulating its E3 activity is largely unknown. NMR and small-angle X-ray scattering analyses revealed that the unphosphorylated N-terminal region of Cbl-b forms a compact structure by an intramolecular interaction, which masks the interaction surface of the RING domain with an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Phosphorylation of Y363, located in the helix-linker region between the tyrosine kinase binding and the RING domains, disrupts the interdomain interaction to expose the E2 binding surface of the RING domain. Structural analysis revealed that the phosphorylated helix-RING region forms a compact structure in solution. Moreover, the phosphate group of pY363 is located in the vicinity of the interaction surface with UbcH5B to increase affinity by reducing their electrostatic repulsion. Thus, the phosphorylation of Y363 regulates the E3 activity of Cbl-b by two mechanisms: one is to remove the masking of the RING domain from the tyrosine kinase binding domain and the other is to form a surface to enhance binding affinity to E2.