Mechanism of ubiquitylation by dimeric RING ligase RNF4.
ABSTRACT: Mammalian RNF4 is a dimeric RING ubiquitin E3 ligase that ubiquitylates poly-SUMOylated proteins. We found that RNF4 bound ubiquitin-charged UbcH5a tightly but free UbcH5a weakly. To provide insight into the mechanism of RING-mediated ubiquitylation, we docked the UbcH5~ubiquitin thioester onto the RNF4 RING structure. This revealed that with E2 bound to one monomer of RNF4, the thioester-linked ubiquitin could reach across the dimer to engage the other monomer. In this model, the 'Ile44 hydrophobic patch' of ubiquitin is predicted to engage a conserved tyrosine located at the dimer interface of the RING, and mutation of these residues blocked ubiquitylation activity. Thus, dimeric RING ligases are not simply inert scaffolds that bring substrate and E2-loaded ubiquitin into close proximity. Instead, they facilitate ubiquitin transfer by preferentially binding the E2~ubiquitin thioester across the dimer and activating the thioester bond for catalysis.
Project description:Ubiquitylation is a universal mechanism for controlling cellular functions. A large family of ubiquitin E3 ligases (E3) mediates Ubiquitin (Ub) modification. To facilitate Ub transfer, RING E3 ligases bind both the substrate and ubiquitin E2 conjugating enzyme (E2) linked to Ub via a thioester bond to form a catalytic complex. The mechanism of Ub transfer catalyzed by RING E3 remains elusive. By employing a combined computational approach including molecular modeling, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) calculations, we characterized this catalytic mechanism in detail. The three-dimensional model of dimeric RING E3 ligase RNF4 RING, E2 ligase UbcH5A, Ub and the substrate SUMO2 shows close contact between the substrate and Ub transfer catalytic center. Deprotonation of the substrate lysine by D117 on UbcH5A occurs with almost no energy barrier as calculated by MD and QM/MM calculations. Then, the side chain of the activated lysine gets close to the thioester bond via a conformation change. The Ub transfer pathway begins with a nucleophilic addition that forms an oxyanion intermediate of a 4.23 kcal/mol energy barrier followed by nucleophilic elimination, resulting in a Ub modified substrate by a 5.65 kcal/mol energy barrier. These results provide insight into the mechanism of RING-catalyzed Ub transfer guiding the discovery of Ub system inhibitors.
Project description:RNF4 [RING (really interesting new gene) finger protein 4] family ubiquitin ligases are RING E3 ligases that regulate the homoeostasis of SUMOylated proteins by promoting their ubiquitylation. In the present paper we report that the RING domain of RNF4 forms a stable dimer, and that dimerization is required for ubiquitin transfer. Our results suggest that the stability of the E2~ubiquitin thioester bond is regulated by RING domain dimerization.
Project description:Ubiquitin modification is mediated by a large family of specificity determining ubiquitin E3 ligases. To facilitate ubiquitin transfer, RING E3 ligases bind both substrate and a ubiquitin E2 conjugating enzyme linked to ubiquitin via a thioester bond, but the mechanism of transfer has remained elusive. Here we report the crystal structure of the dimeric RING domain of rat RNF4 in complex with E2 (UbcH5A) linked by an isopeptide bond to ubiquitin. While the E2 contacts a single protomer of the RING, ubiquitin is folded back onto the E2 by contacts from both RING protomers. The carboxy-terminal tail of ubiquitin is locked into an active site groove on the E2 by an intricate network of interactions, resulting in changes at the E2 active site. This arrangement is primed for catalysis as it can deprotonate the incoming substrate lysine residue and stabilize the consequent tetrahedral transition-state intermediate.
Project description:Dimeric RING E3 ligases interact with protein substrates and conformationally restrain the ubiquitin-E2-conjugating enzyme thioester complex such that it is primed for catalysis. RNF4 is an E3 ligase containing an N-terminal domain that binds its polySUMO substrates and a C-terminal RING domain responsible for dimerization. To investigate how RNF4 activity is controlled, we increased polySUMO substrate concentration by ablating expression of SUMO protease SENP6. Accumulation of SUMO chains in vivo leads to ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of RNF4. In vitro we demonstrate that at concentrations equivalent to those found in vivo RNF4 is predominantly monomeric and inactive as an ubiquitin E3 ligase. However, in the presence of SUMO chains, RNF4 is activated by dimerization, leading to both substrate ubiquitylation and autoubiquitylation, responsible for degradation of RNF4. Thus the ubiquitin E3 ligase activity of RNF4 is directly linked to the availability of its polySUMO substrates.
Project description:The RING E3 ubiquitin ligase UHRF1 controls DNA methylation through its ability to target the maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 to newly replicated chromatin. DNMT1 recruitment relies on ubiquitylation of histone H3 by UHRF1; however, how UHRF1 deposits ubiquitin onto the histone is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin-like domain (UBL) of UHRF1 is essential for RING-mediated H3 ubiquitylation. Using chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometry, biochemical assays, and recombinant chromatin substrates, we show that the UBL participates in structural rearrangements of UHRF1 upon binding to chromatin and the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UbcH5a/UBE2D1. Similar to ubiquitin, the UBL exerts its effects through a hydrophobic patch that contacts a regulatory surface on the "backside" of the E2 to stabilize the E2-E3-chromatin complex. Our analysis of the enzymatic mechanism of UHRF1 uncovers an unexpected function of the UBL domain and defines a new role for this domain in DNMT1-dependent inheritance of DNA methylation.
Project description:The covalent attachment of the protein ubiquitin to intracellular proteins by a process known as ubiquitylation regulates almost all major cellular systems, predominantly by regulating protein turnover. Ubiquitylation requires the co-ordinated action of three enzymes termed E1, E2 and E3, and typically results in the formation of an isopeptide bond between the C-terminal carboxy group of ubiquitin and the ?-amino group of a target lysine residue. However, ubiquitin is also known to conjugate to the thiol of cysteine residue side chains and the ?-amino group of protein N-termini, although the enzymes responsible for discrimination between different chemical groups have not been defined. In the present study, we show that Ube2W (Ubc16) is an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme with specific protein N-terminal mono-ubiquitylation activity. Ube2W conjugates ubiquitin not only to its own N-terminus, but also to that of the small ubiquitin-like modifier SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) in a manner dependent on the SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase RNF4 (RING finger protein 4). Furthermore, N-terminal mono-ubiquitylation of SUMO-2 primes it for poly-ubiquitylation by the Ubc13-UEV1 (ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2 variant 1) heterodimer, showing that N-terminal ubiquitylation regulates protein fate. The description in the present study is the first of an E2-conjugating enzyme with N-terminal ubiquitylation activity, and highlights the importance of E2 enzymes in the ultimate outcome of E3-mediated ubiquitylation.
Project description:RING E3 ligase-catalyzed formation of K63-linked ubiquitin chains by the Ube2V2-Ubc13 E2 complex is required in many important biological processes. Here we report the structure of the RING-domain dimer of rat RNF4 in complex with a human Ubc13?Ub conjugate and Ube2V2. The structure has captured Ube2V2 bound to the acceptor (priming) ubiquitin with K63 in a position favorable for attack on the linkage between Ubc13 and the donor (second) ubiquitin held in the active 'folded back' conformation by the RING domain of RNF4. We verified the interfaces identified in the structure by in vitro ubiquitination assays of site-directed mutants. To our knowledge, this represents the first view of synthesis of K63-linked ubiquitin chains in which both substrate ubiquitin and ubiquitin-loaded E2 are juxtaposed to allow E3 ligase-mediated catalysis.
Project description:The RING E3 ubiquitin ligase UHRF1 controls DNA methylation through its ability to target the maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 to newly replicated chromatin. DNMT1 recruitment relies on ubiquitylation of histone H3 by UHRF1, however, how UHRF1 deposits ubiquitin onto the histone is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin-like domain (UBL) of UHRF1 is essential for RING-mediated H3 ubiquitylation. Using chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometry, biochemical assays and recombinant chromatin substrates we show that the UBL participates in structural rearrangements of UHRF1 upon binding to chromatin and the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UbcH5a/UBE2D1. Similar to ubiquitin, the UBL exerts its effects through a hydrophobic patch that contacts a regulatory surface on the “backside” of the E2 to stabilise the E2-E3-chromatin complex. Our analysis of the enzymatic mechanism of UHRF1 uncovers an unexpected function of the UBL-domain and defines a new role for this domain in DNMT1-dependent inheritance of DNA methylation. Overall design: Multiplex bisulfite PCR and next generation sequencing of 16 samples (biological quadruplicates from four genotypes)
Project description:Ubiquitin (Ub)-conjugating enzymes and Ub ligases control protein degradation and regulate many cellular processes in eukaryotes. Cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1 (cIAP1) plays a central role in apoptosis and tumor necrosis factor signaling. It harbors a C-terminal RING domain that homodimerizes to recruit E2?Ub (where ? denotes a thioester bond) complex to catalyze Ub transfer. Noncovalent Ub binding to the backside of the E2 Ub-conjugating enzyme UbcH5 has previously been shown to enhance RING domain activity, but the molecular basis for this enhancement is unclear. To investigate how dimeric cIAP1 RING activates E2?Ub for Ub transfer and what role noncovalently bound Ub has in Ub transfer, here we determined the crystal structure of the cIAP1 RING dimer bound to both UbcH5B covalently linked to Ub (UbcH5B-Ub) and a noncovalent Ub to 1.7 Å resolution. The structure along with biochemical analyses revealed that the cIAP1 RING domain interacts with UbcH5B-Ub and thereby promotes the formation of a closed UbcH5B-Ub conformation that primes the thioester bond for Ub transfer. We observed that the noncovalent Ub binds to the backside of UbcH5B and abuts UbcH5B's ?1?1-loop, which, in turn, stabilizes the closed UbcH5B-Ub conformation. Our results disclose the mechanism by which cIAP1 RING dimer activates UbcH5B?Ub and indicate that noncovalent Ub binding further stabilizes the cIAP1-UbcH5B?Ub complex in the active conformation to stimulate Ub transfer.
Project description:Mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase 1 (MUL1) is located in the mitochondrial outer membrane and regulates various biological processes, including apoptosis, cell growth, mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics. The C-terminal region of MUL1 faces the cytoplasm and contains the RING domain (MUL1-RING) where the Ub~E2 thioester binds. Unlike most RING-type E3 enzymes, MUL1-RING alone does not have an additional region that recruits a substrate protein, yet is still able to ubiquitylate the substrate, the p53 protein. Nevertheless, the exact mechanism of the ubiquitylation of p53 by MUL1-RING has not yet been elucidated. In order to understand this novel ubiquitylation mechanism, it is necessary to determine the three-dimensional structures of MUL1-RING and of its complex with the cognate E2 enzyme. Here, Ube2D2 was validated as a functional E2 enzyme for the ubiquitylation of the p53 transactivation domain (p53-TAD) by MUL1-RING, and purification and crystallization processes for MUL1-RING and the MUL1-RING-Ube2D2 complex are reported.