The CUL3-SPOP-DAXX axis is a novel regulator of VEGFR2 expression in vascular endothelial cells.
ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cell growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is an essential receptor for the homeostasis of endothelial cells. In this study, we showed that NEDD8-conjugated Cullin3 (CUL3)-based ubiquitin E3 (UbE3) ligase plays a crucial role in VEGFR2 mRNA expression. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells treated with MLN4924, an inhibitor of NEDD8-activating enzyme, or with CUL3 siRNA drastically lost their response to VEGF due to the intense decrease in VEGFR2 expression. Moreover, speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) and death-domain associated protein (DAXX) were involved in the CUL3 UbE3 ligase complex as a substrate adaptor and a substrate, respectively. Knockdown of SPOP and CUL3 led to the upregulation of DAXX protein and downregulation of VEGFR2 levels. These levels were inversely correlated with one another. In addition, simultaneous knockdown of SPOP and DAXX completely reversed the downregulation of VEGFR2 levels. Moreover, the CUL3-SPOP-DAXX axis had the same effects on NOTCH1, DLL4 and NRP1 expression. Taken together, these findings suggest that the CUL3-SPOP-DAXX axis plays a very important role in endothelial cell function by targeting key angiogenic regulators.
Project description:Cullins are members of a family of scaffold proteins that assemble multisubunit ubiquitin ligase complexes to confer substrate specificity for the ubiquitination pathway. Cullin3 (Cul3) forms a catalytically inactive BTB-Cul3-Rbx1 (BCR) ubiquitin ligase, which becomes functional upon covalent attachment of the ubiquitin homologue neural-precursor-cell-expressed and developmentally down regulated 8 (Nedd8) near the C terminus of Cul3. Current models suggest that Nedd8 activates cullin complexes by providing a recognition site for a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Based on the following evidence, we propose that Nedd8 activates the BCR ubiquitin ligase by mediating the dimerization of Cul3. First, Cul3 is found as a neddylated heterodimer bound to a BTB domain-containing protein in vivo. Second, the formation of a Cul3 heterodimer is mediated by a Nedd8 molecule, which covalently attaches itself to one Cul3 molecule and binds to the winged-helix B domain at the C terminus of the second Cul3 molecule. Third, complementation experiments revealed that coexpression of two distinct nonfunctional Cul3 mutants can rescue the ubiquitin ligase function of the BCR complex. Likewise, a substrate of the BCR complex binds heterodimeric Cul3, suggesting that the Cul3 complex is active as a dimer. These findings not only provide insight into the architecture of the active BCR complex but also suggest assembly as a regulatory mechanism for activation of all cullin-based ubiquitin ligases.
Project description:In the largest E3 ligase subfamily, Cul3 binds a BTB domain, and an associated protein-interaction domain such as MATH recruits substrates for ubiquitination. Here, we present biochemical and structural analyses of the MATH-BTB protein, SPOP. We define a SPOP-binding consensus (SBC) and determine structures revealing recognition of SBCs from the phosphatase Puc, the transcriptional regulator Ci, and the chromatin component MacroH2A. We identify a dimeric SPOP-Cul3 assembly involving a conserved helical structure C-terminal of BTB domains, which we call "3-box" due to its facilitating Cul3 binding and its resemblance to F-/SOCS-boxes in other cullin-based E3s. Structural flexibility between the substrate-binding MATH and Cul3-binding BTB/3-box domains potentially allows a SPOP dimer to engage multiple SBCs found within a single substrate, such as Puc. These studies provide a molecular understanding of how MATH-BTB proteins recruit substrates to Cul3 and how their dimerization and conformational variability may facilitate avid interactions with diverse substrates.
Project description:Cullin (Cul)-based E3 ubiquitin ligases are activated through the attachment of Nedd8 to the Cul protein. In yeast, Dcn1 (defective in Cul neddylation 1 protein) functions as a scaffold-like Nedd8 E3-ligase by interacting with its Cul substrates and the Nedd8 E2 Ubc12. Human cells express 5 Dcn1-like (DCNL) proteins each containing a C-terminal potentiating neddylation domain but distinct amino-terminal extensions. Although the UBA-containing DCNL1 and DCNL2 are likely functional homologues of yeast Dcn1, DCNL3 also interacts with human Culs and is able to complement the neddylation defect of yeast dcn1Delta cells. DCNL3 down-regulation by RNAi decreases Cul neddylation, and overexpression of a Cul3 mutant deficient in DCNL3 binding interferes with Cul3 function in vivo. Interestingly, DCNL3 accumulates at the plasma membrane through a conserved, lipid-modified motif at the N terminus. Membrane-bound DCNL3 is able to recruit Cul3 to membranes and is functionally important for Cul3 neddylation in vivo. We conclude that DCNL proteins function as nonredundant Cul Nedd8-E3 ligases. Moreover, the diversification of the N termini in mammalian Dcn1 homologues may contribute to substrate specificity by regulating their subcellular localization.
Project description:Cullins belong to a family of scaffold proteins that assemble multi-subunit ubiquitin ligase complexes to recruit protein substrates for ubiquitination via unique sets of substrate adaptor, such as Skp1 or Elongin B, and a substrate-binding protein with a conserved protein-protein interacting domain, such as leucine-rich repeats (LRR), a WD40 domain, or a zinc-finger domain. In the case of the Cullin3 (Cul3), it forms a BTB-Cul3-Rbx1 (BCR) ubiquitin ligase complex where it is believed that a BTB domain-containing protein performs dual functions where it serves as both the substrate adaptor and the substrate recognition protein.Tandem affinity purification and LC/MS-MS analysis of the BCR complex led to the identification of 10,225 peptides. After the SEQUEST algorithm and CDART program were used for protein identification and domain prediction, we discovered a group of Cul3-bound proteins that contain either the LRR or WD40 domain (CLWs). Further biochemical analysis revealed that the LRR domain-containing CLWs could bind both Cul3 and BTB domain-containing proteins. The dual binding role for the LRR domain-containing CLWs results in causing the BTB-domain protein to become a substrate instead of an adaptor.To further distinguish potential substrates from other components that are part of the BCR ubiquitin ligase complex, we altered the parameters in the SEQUEST algorithm to select for peptide fragments with a modified lysine residue. This method not only identifies the potential substrates of the BCR ubiquitin ligase complex, but it also pinpoints the lysine residue in which the post-translational modification occurs. Interestingly, none of the CLWs were identified by this method, supporting our hypothesis that CLWs were not potential substrates but rather additional components of the BCR ubiquitin ligase complex.Our study identified a new set of Cul3-binding proteins known as CLWs via tandem affinity purification and LC/MS-MS analysis. Subsequently, our biochemical analysis revealed that some CLWs modify binding of BTB domain-containing proteins to the complex, causing degradation of the BTB domain-containing protein. As these CLWs were excluded from our list of substrates, we propose that CLWs serve as unique Cul3 binding proteins that provide an alternative regulatory mechanism for the complex.
Project description:Familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt) is a rare inherited form of salt-dependent hypertension caused by mutations in proteins that regulate the renal Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter NCC Mutations in four genes have been reported to cause FHHt including CUL3 (Cullin3) that encodes a component of a RING E3 ligase. Cullin-3 binds to WNK kinase-bound KLHL3 (the substrate recognition subunit of the ubiquitin ligase complex) to promote ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of WNK kinases. Deletion of exon 9 from CUL3 (affecting residues 403-459, CUL3(?403-459)) causes a severe form of FHHt (PHA2E) that is recapitulated closely in a knock-in mouse model. The loss of functionality of CUL3(?403-459) and secondary accumulation of WNK kinases causes substantial NCC activation. This accounts for the hypertension in FHHt but the origin of the hyperkalemia is less clear. Hence, we explored the impact of CUL3(?403-459) on expression of the distal secretory K channel, ROMK, both in vitro and in vivo. We found that expressing wild-type but not the CUL3(?403-459) mutant form of CUL3 prevented the suppression of ROMK currents by WNK4 expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The mutant CUL3 protein was also unable to affect ROMK-EGFP protein expression at the surface of mouse M-1 cortical collecting duct (CCD) cells. The effects of CUL3 on ROMK expression in both oocytes and M-1 CCD cells was reduced by addition of the neddylation inhibitor, MLN4924. This confirms that neddylation is important for CUL3 activity. Nevertheless, in our knock-in mouse model expressing CUL3(?403-459) we could not show any alteration in ROMK expression by either western blotting whole kidney lysates or confocal microscopy of kidney sections. This suggests that the hyperkalemia in our knock-in mouse and human PHA2E subjects with the CUL3(?403-459) mutation is not caused by reduced ROMK expression in the distal nephron.
Project description:The Cul3-based E3 ubiquitin ligases regulate many cellular processes using a large family of BTB domain-containing proteins as their target recognition components, but how they recognize targets remains unknown. Here we identify and characterize degrons that mediate the degradation of the Hedgehog pathway transcription factor cubitus interruptus (Ci)/Gli by Cul3-Hedghog-induced MATH and BTB domain-containing protein (HIB)/SPOP. Ci uses multiple Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich motifs that bind HIB cooperatively to mediate its degradation. We provide evidence that both HIB and Ci form dimers/oligomers and engage in multivalent interactions, which underlies the in vivo cooperativity among individual HIB-binding sites. We find that similar S/T-rich motifs are present in Gli proteins as well as in numerous HIB-interacting proteins and mediate Gli degradation by SPOP. Our results provide a mechanistic insight into how HIB/SPOP recognizes its substrates and have important implications for the genome-wide prediction of substrates for Cul3-based E3 ligases.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) harbor thousands of passenger events that hide genetic drivers. Even highly recurrent events in NSCLC, such as mutations in PTEN, EGFR, KRAS, and ALK, are detected, at most, in only 30% of patients. Thus, many unidentified low-penetrant events are causing a significant portion of lung cancers. To detect low-penetrance drivers of NSCLC, a forward genetic screen was performed in mice using the Sleeping Beauty (SB) DNA transposon as a random mutagen to generate lung tumors in a Pten-deficient background. SB mutations coupled with Pten deficiency were sufficient to produce lung tumors in 29% of mice. Pten deficiency alone, without SB mutations, resulted in lung tumors in 11% of mice, whereas the rate in control mice was approximately 3%. In addition, thyroid cancer and other carcinomas, as well as the presence of bronchiolar and alveolar epithelialization, in mice deficient for Pten were also identified. Analysis of common transposon insertion sites identified 76 candidate cancer driver genes. These genes are frequently dysregulated in human lung cancers and implicate several signaling pathways. Cullin3 (Cul3), a member of a ubiquitin ligase complex that plays a role in the oxidative stress response pathway, was identified in the screen and evidence demonstrates that Cul3 functions as a tumor suppressor.This study identifies many novel candidate genetic drivers of lung cancer and demonstrates that CUL3 acts as a tumor suppressor by regulating oxidative stress.
Project description:Steroid receptor co-activator-3 (SRC-3/AIB1) is an oncogene that is amplified and overexpressed in many human cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate 'activated SRC-3 oncoprotein' turnover during tumorigenesis remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP), a cullin 3 (CUL3)-based ubiquitin ligase, is responsible for SRC-3 ubiquitination and proteolysis. SPOP interacts directly with an SRC-3 phospho-degron in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Casein kinase I? phosphorylates the S102 in this degron and promotes SPOP-dependent turnover of SRC-3. Short hairpin RNA knockdown and overexpression experiments substantiated that the SPOP/CUL3/Rbx1 ubiquitin ligase complex promotes SRC-3 turnover. A systematic analysis of the SPOP genomic locus revealed that a high percentage of genomic loss or loss of heterozygosity occurs at this locus in breast cancers. Furthermore, we demonstrate that restoration of SPOP expression inhibited SRC-3-mediated oncogenic signaling and tumorigenesis, thus positioning SPOP as a tumor suppressor.
Project description:Mutations in the tumor suppressor SPOP (speckle-type POZ protein) cause prostate, breast, and other solid tumors. SPOP is a substrate adaptor of the cullin3-RING ubiquitin ligase and localizes to nuclear speckles. Although cancer-associated mutations in SPOP interfere with substrate recruitment to the ligase, mechanisms underlying assembly of SPOP with its substrates in liquid nuclear bodies and effects of SPOP mutations on assembly are poorly understood. Here, we show that substrates trigger phase separation of SPOP in vitro and co-localization in membraneless organelles in cells. Enzymatic activity correlates with cellular co-localization and in vitro mesoscale assembly formation. Disease-associated SPOP mutations that lead to the accumulation of proto-oncogenic proteins interfere with phase separation and co-localization in membraneless organelles, suggesting that substrate-directed phase separation of this E3 ligase underlies the regulation of ubiquitin-dependent proteostasis.
Project description:Dysregulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is closely associated with cancer initiation and progression. SPOP is an adapter protein of the CUL3-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes. Several whole genome/exome sequencing studies on endometrial cancers (ECs) revealed that the SPOP gene is frequently mutated. However, how SPOP mutations contribute to EC remains poorly understood. In this study, transcription factor ZBTB3 was identified as a proteolytic substrate for the SPOP-CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. SPOP specifically recognizes two Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich degrons located in ZBTB3 and triggers the degradation of ZBTB3 via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. By contrast, EC-associated SPOP mutants are defective in regulating ZBTB3 stability. SPOP inactivation promotes endometrial cell proliferation, migration, and invasion partly through ZBTB3 accumulation. Sonic hedgehog (SHH) was found to be a transcriptional target of ZBTB3. SPOP inactivation leads to ZBTB3-dependent SHH upregulation in EC cells. RUSKI-43, a small molecule inhibitor of SHH, suppresses cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in SPOP-depleted or EC-associated SPOP mutant-overexpressed EC cells. Our data indicate that pharmacological inhibition of SHH represents a possible treatment strategy for SPOP-mutated ECs.