Project description:UBE2M and UBE2F are two family members of neddylation E2 conjugating enzyme that, together with E3s, activate CRLs (Cullin-RING Ligases) by catalyzing cullin neddylation. However, whether and how two E2s cross-talk with each other are largely unknown. Here, we report that UBE2M is a stress-inducible gene subjected to cis-transactivation by HIF-1 and AP1, and MLN4924, a small molecule inhibitor of E1 NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE), upregulates UBE2M via blocking degradation of HIF-1? and c-JUN. UBE2M is a dual E2 for targeted ubiquitylation and degradation of UBE2F, acting as a neddylation E2 to activate CUL3-Keap1 E3 under physiological conditions but as a ubiquitylation E2 for Parkin-DJ-1 E3 under stressed conditions. UBE2M-induced UBE2F degradation leads to CRL5 inactivation and subsequent NOXA accumulation to suppress the growth of lung cancer cells. Collectively, our study establishes a negative regulatory axis between two neddylation E2s with UBE2M ubiquitylating UBE2F, and two CRLs with CRL3 inactivating CRL5.
Project description:NOXA, a BH3-only proapoptotic protein involved in regulating cell death decisions, is highly expressed but short-lived in colorectal cancer (CRC). Neddylated cullin-5 (CUL5)-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of NOXA is crucial to prevent its overaccumulation and maintain an appropriate action time. However, how this process is manipulated by CRC cells commonly exposed to oxidative stress remain unknown. The peroxiredoxin PRDX1, a conceivable antioxidant overexpressed in CRC tissues, has been shown to inhibit apoptosis and TRAF6 ubiquitin-ligase activity. In this study, we found that PRDX1 inhibits CRC cell apoptosis by downregulating NOXA. Mechanistically, PRDX1 promotes NOXA ubiquitination and degradation, which completely depend on CUL5 neddylation. Further studies have demonstrated that PRDX1 oligomers bind with both the Nedd8-conjugating enzyme UBE2F and CUL5 and that this tricomplex is critical for CUL5 neddylation, since silencing PRDX1 or inhibiting PRDX1 oligomerization greatly dampens CUL5 neddylation and NOXA degradation. An increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) is not only a hallmark of cancer cells but also the leading driving force for PRDX1 oligomerization. As shown in our study, although ROS play a role in upregulating NOXA mRNA transcription, ROS scavenging in CRC cells by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) can significantly reduce CUL5 neddylation and extend the NOXA protein half-life. Therefore, in CRC, PRDX1 plays a key role in maintaining intracellular homeostasis under conditions of high metabolic activity by reinforcing UBE2F-CUL5-mediated degradation of NOXA, which is also evidenced in the resistance of CRC cells to etoposide treatment. Based on these findings, targeting PRDX1 could be an effective strategy to overcome the resistance of CRC to DNA damage-inducing chemotherapeutics.
Project description:Platinum is a widely used first-line chemotherapy in treating non-small cell lung cancer of adenocarcinoma. Unfortunately, platinum resistance leads to relapse and therapeutic failure, enabling the development of platinum-sensitization strategies to be of great clinical significance. Here, we report that the upregulation of the NEDD8-conjugating enzyme UBE2F is an important way for lung cancer cells to escape platinum-induced cell apoptosis, which confers to insensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy. Mechanistically, platinum treatment impairs the complex formation for proteasome-mediated UBE2F degradation, evidenced by the weaker association between UBE2F and Ring-box protein 1 (RBX1), an essential component of Cullin-Ring E3 ligases (CRLs), thus leading to the accumulation of UBE2F. The accumulated UBE2F promotes the neddylation levels and activity of Cullin5, in accord with the lower expression of pro-apoptotic protein NOXA, a well-known substrate of Cullin-Ring E3 ligase 5 (CRL5). Additionally, knockout of UBE2F significantly sensitizes lung cancer cells to platinum treatment by enhancing the protein levels of NOXA and subsequently promoting cell apoptosis. Our observations uncover a previously unknown regulatory mechanism of UBE2F stability upon platinum chemotherapy and suggest that UBE2F might be a novel therapy target for sensitizing lung cancer cells to platinum-based chemotherapy.
Project description:Overexpression of anti-apoptotic proteins MCL1 and Bcl-xL are frequently observed in many cancers. Inhibitors targeting MCL1 are in clinical development, however numerous cancer models are intrinsically resistant to this approach. To discover mechanisms underlying resistance to MCL1 inhibition, we performed multiple flow-cytometry based genome-wide CRISPR screens interrogating two drugs that directly (MCL1i) or indirectly (CDK9i) target MCL1. Remarkably, both screens identified three components (CUL5, RNF7 and UBE2F) of a cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase complex (CRL5) that resensitized cells to MCL1 inhibition. We find that levels of the BH3-only pro-apoptotic proteins Bim and Noxa are proteasomally regulated by the CRL5 complex. Accumulation of Noxa caused by depletion of CRL5 components was responsible for re-sensitization to CDK9 inhibitor, but not MCL1 inhibitor. Discovery of a novel role of CRL5 in apoptosis and resistance to multiple types of anticancer agents suggests the potential to improve combination treatments.
Project description:Cullin-RING E3 ligase (CRL) is the largest family of E3 ubiquitin ligase, responsible for ubiquitylation of ?20% of cellular proteins. CRL plays an important role in many biological processes, particularly in cancers due to abnormal activation. CRL activation requires neddylation, an enzymatic cascade transferring small ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 to a conserved lysine residue on cullin proteins. Recent studies have validated that neddylation is an attractive anticancer target. In this study, we report the establishment of an Alpha-Screen-based high throughput screen (HTS) assay for in vitro CUL5 neddylation, and screened a library of 17,000 compounds including FDA approved drugs, natural products and synthetic drug-like small-molecule compounds. Gossypol, a natural compound derived from cotton seed, was identified as an inhibitor of cullin neddylation. Biochemical studies showed that gossypol blocked neddylation of both CUL5 and CUL1 through direct binding to SAG-CUL5 or RBX1-CUL1 complex, and CUL5-H572 plays a key role for gossypol binding. On cellular level, gossypol inhibited cullin neddylation in a variety of cancer cell lines and selectively caused accumulation of NOXA and MCL1, the substrates of CUL5 and CUL1, respectively, in multiple cancer cell lines. Combination of gossypol with specific MCL1 inhibitor synergistically suppress growth of human cancer cells. Our study revealed a previously unknown anti-cancer mechanism of gossypol with potential to develop a new class of neddylation inhibitors.
Project description:Protein neddylation modification is catalyzed by a neddylation activating enzyme (NAE, E1), an E2 conjugating enzyme and an E3 ligase. In various types of human cancers, the neddylation pathway was abnormally activated. Our previous study validated that neddylation E2 UBE2F is a promising lung cancer target. However, although NAE inhibitor MLN4924/pevonedistat is currently in few clinical trials for anticancer application, no small molecule was reported that targets UBE2F. Here, we report, for the first time, the discovery, via structure-based virtual screen and chemical optimization, of such a small molecule, designated as HA-9104. HA-9104 binds to UBE2F, reduces its protein levels, and consequently inhibits cullin-5 neddylation to inactivate CRL5 (cullin-RING ligase-5) ligase, leading to accumulation of CRL5 substrate, NOXA, to induce apoptosis. Moreover, HA-9104 appears to form the DNA adduct via its 7-azaindole group to induce DNA damage and G2/M arrest. Biologically, HA-9104 effectively suppresses the growth and survival of lung cancer cells and confers radiosensitization in both in vitro cell culture and in vivo xenograft tumor models. Taken together, our study discovered a small molecule HA-9104 that targets the UBE2F-CRL5 axis with anticancer activity alone or in combination with radiation.
Project description:SAG/RBX2 and RBX1 are two family members of RING components of Cullin-RING ligases (CRLs), required for their enzymatic activity. Previous studies showed that SAG prefers to bind with CUL5, as well as CUL1, whereas RBX1 binds exclusively to CULs1-4. Detailed biochemical difference between SAG and RBX1, and whether SAG mediates cross-talk between CRL5 and CRL1 are previously unknown. Here we report that the levels of SAG and ?-TrCP1 are inversely correlated, and SAG-CUL5-?TrCP1 forms a complex under physiological condition. SAG-CUL5, but not RBX1-CUL1, negatively modulates ?-TrCP1 levels by shortening its protein half-life through promoting its ubiquitylation via atypical K11-linkage. Consistently, chemical inducers of SAG reduced ?-TrCP1 level. Furthermore, SAG mainly binds to E2s UBCH10 and UBE2S known to mediate K11 linkage of ubiquitin, whereas RBX1 exclusively binds to E2s CDC34 and UBCH5C, known to mediate K48 linkage of ubiquitin. Finally, silencing of either UBCH10 or UBE2S, but not UBCH5C, caused accumulation of endogenous ?-TrCP1, suggesting that ?-TrCP1 is a physiological substrate of SAG-UBCH10C/UBE2S. Our study, for the first time, differentiates SAG and RBX1 biochemically via their respective binding to different E2s; and shows a negative cross-talk between CRL5 and CRL1 through SAG mediated ubiquitylation of ?-TrCP1.
Project description:Cullin RING E3 ligases (CRLs) ubiquitylate hundreds of important cellular substrates. Here we have assembled and purified the Ankyrin repeat and SOCS Box protein 9 CUL5 RBX2 ligase (ASB9-CRL) in vitro and show how it ubiquitylates one of its substrates, CKB. CRLs occasionally collaborate with RING between RING E3 ligases (RBRLs), and indeed, mass spectrometry analysis showed that CKB is specifically ubiquitylated by the ASB9-CRL-ARIH2-UBE2L3 complex. Addition of other E2s such as UBE2R1 or UBE2D2 contributes to polyubiquitylation but does not alter the sites of CKB ubiquitylation. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) analysis revealed that CUL5 neddylation allosterically exposes its ARIH2 binding site, promoting high-affinity binding, and it also sequesters the NEDD8 E2 (UBE2F) binding site on RBX2. Once bound, ARIH2 helices near the Ariadne domain active site are exposed, presumably relieving its autoinhibition. These results allow us to propose a model of how neddylation activates ASB-CRLs to ubiquitylate their substrates.
Project description:Cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) are a family of E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes that rely on either RING-box 1 (RBX1) or sensitive to apoptosis gene (SAG), also known as RBX2, for activity. RBX1 and SAG are both overexpressed in human lung cancer; however, their contribution to patient survival and lung tumorigenesis is unknown. Here, we report that overexpression of SAG, but not RBX1, correlates with poor patient prognosis and more advanced disease. We found that SAG is overexpressed in murine KrasG12D-driven lung tumors and that Sag deletion suppressed lung tumorigenesis and extended murine life span. Using cultured lung cancer cells, we showed that SAG knockdown suppressed growth and survival, inactivated both NF-?B and mTOR pathways, and resulted in accumulation of tumor suppressor substrates, including p21, p27, NOXA, and BIM. Importantly, growth suppression by SAG knockdown was partially rescued by simultaneous knockdown of p21 or the mTOR inhibitor DEPTOR. Treatment with MLN4924, a small molecule inhibitor of CRL E3s, also inhibited the formation of KrasG12D-induced lung tumors through a similar mechanism involving inactivation of NF-?B and mTOR and accumulation of tumor suppressor substrates. Together, our results demonstrate that Sag is a Kras-cooperating oncogene that promotes lung tumorigenesis and suggest that targeting SAG-CRL E3 ligases may be an effective therapeutic approach for Kras-driven lung cancers.
Project description:Sensitive to apoptosis gene (SAG; also known as RBX2 or ROC2) was originally cloned as a redox-inducible antioxidant protein and was later characterized as a RING component of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases. SAG overexpression inhibits apoptosis induced by many stimuli both in vitro and in vivo. SAG mRNA was overexpressed in human lung tumor tissues with a correlation to poor patient survival. To investigate whether SAG serves as an anticancer target, we determined the effect of SAG silencing on cell proliferation, survival, and radiosensitivity.SAG protein expression in human tumors was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining using tumor tissue arrays. SAG expression in cancer cells was knocked down by siRNA silencing. The anticancer effects of SAG silencing were evaluated by in vitro assays for cell growth and survival and by an in vivo orthotopic xenograft tumor model. Radiosensitization by SAG silencing of human cancer cells was determined by clonogenic survival assay. Apoptosis induction was evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, caspase-3 activation assay, and Western blotting of apoptosis-associated proteins.SAG was overexpressed in multiple human tumor tissues compared with their normal counterparts. SAG silencing selectively inhibited cancer cell proliferation, suppressed in vivo tumor growth, and sensitized radiation-resistant cancer cells to radiation. Mechanistically, SAG silencing induced apoptosis with accumulation of NOXA, whereas SAG overexpression reduced NOXA levels and shortened NOXA protein half-life.The findings showed that SAG E3 ubiquitin ligase plays an essential role in cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth and may serve as a promising anticancer and radiosensitizing target.