SPOP targets oncogenic protein ZBTB3 for destruction to suppress endometrial cancer.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:Increasing amounts of evidence strongly suggests that dysregulation of ubiquitin-proteasome system is closely associated with cancer pathogenesis. Speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) is an adapter protein of the CUL3-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes. It selectively recruits substrates for their ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Recently, several exome-sequencing studies of endometrial cancer revealed high frequency somatic mutations in SPOP (5.7-10%). However, how SPOP mutations contribute to endometrial cancer remains unknown. Here, we identified estrogen receptor-? (ER?), a major endometrial cancer promoter, as a substrate for the SPOP-CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. SPOP specifically recognizes multiple Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich degrons located in the AF2 domain of ER?, and triggers ER? degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. SPOP depletion by siRNAs promotes endometrial cells growth. Strikingly, endometrial cancer-associated mutants of SPOP are defective in regulating ER? degradation and ubiquitination. Furthermore, we found that SPOP participates in estrogen-induced ER? degradation and transactivation. Our study revealed novel molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of ER? protein homeostasis in physiological and pathological conditions, and provided insights in understanding the relationship between SPOP mutations and the development of endometrial cancer.
Project description:It is generally assumed that recurrent mutations within a given cancer driver gene elicit similar drug responses. Cancer genome studies have identified recurrent but divergent missense mutations affecting the substrate-recognition domain of the ubiquitin ligase adaptor SPOP in endometrial and prostate cancers. The therapeutic implications of these mutations remain incompletely understood. Here we analyzed changes in the ubiquitin landscape induced by endometrial cancer-associated SPOP mutations and identified BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4 proteins (BETs) as SPOP-CUL3 substrates that are preferentially degraded by endometrial cancer-associated SPOP mutants. The resulting reduction of BET protein levels sensitized cancer cells to BET inhibitors. Conversely, prostate cancer-specific SPOP mutations resulted in impaired degradation of BETs, promoting their resistance to pharmacologic inhibition. These results uncover an oncogenomics paradox, whereby mutations mapping to the same domain evoke opposing drug susceptibilities. Specifically, we provide a molecular rationale for the use of BET inhibitors to treat patients with endometrial but not prostate cancer who harbor SPOP mutations.
Project description:Next-generation sequencing of the exome and genome of prostate cancers has identified numerous genetic alterations. SPOP (Speckle-type POZ Protein) is one of the most frequently mutated genes in primary prostate cancer, suggesting that SPOP may be a potential driver of prostate cancer. The aim of this work was to investigate how SPOP mutations contribute to prostate cancer development and progression.To identify molecular mediators of the tumor suppressive function of SPOP, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen in a HeLa cDNA library using the full-length SPOP as bait. Immunoprecipitation and Western Blotting were used to analyze the interaction between SPOP and ATF2. Cell migration and invasion were determined by Transwell assays. Immunohistochemistry were used to analyze protein levels in patients' tumor samples.Here we identified ATF2 as a bona fide substrate of the SPOP-CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. SPOP recognizes multiple Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich degrons in ATF2 and triggers ATF2 degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Strikingly, prostate cancer-associated mutants of SPOP are defective in promoting ATF2 degradation in prostate cancer cells and contribute to facilitating prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion.SPOP promotes ATF2 ubiquitination and degradation, and ATF2 is an important mediator of SPOP inactivation-induced cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
Project description: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: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:Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling regulates the patterning of ventral spinal cord through the effector Gli family of transcription factors. Previous in vitro studies showed that an E3 ubiquitin ligase containing Speckle-type POZ protein (Spop) targets Gli2 and Gli3 for ubiquitination and degradation, but the role of Spop in Shh signaling and mammalian spinal cord patterning remains unknown. Here, we show that loss of Spop does not alter spinal cord patterning, but it suppresses the loss of floor plate and V3 interneuron phenotype of Gli2 mutants, suggesting a negative role of Spop in Gli3 activator activity, Shh signaling and the specification of ventral cell fates in the spinal cord. This correlates with a moderate but significant increase in the level of Gli3 protein in the Spop mutant spinal cords. Furthermore, loss of Spop restores the maximal Shh pathway activation and ventral cell fate specification in the Gli1;Sufu double mutant spinal cord. Finally, we show that loss of Spop-like does not change the spinal cord patterning in either wild type or Spop mutants, suggesting that it does not compensate for the loss of Spop in Shh signaling and spinal cord patterning. Therefore, our results demonstrate a negative role of Spop in the level and activity of Gli3, Shh signaling and ventral spinal cord patterning.
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:Substrate-specific protein degradation mediated by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is crucial for the proper function of the cell. Proteins are specifically recognized and ubiquitinated by the ubiquitin ligases (E3s) and are then degraded by the proteasome. BTB proteins act as the substrate recognition subunit that recruits their cognate substrates to the Cullin 3-based multisubunit E3s. Recently, it was reported that missense mutations in KLHL7, a BTB-Kelch protein, are related to autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). However, the involvement of KLHL7 in the UPS and the outcome of the adRP causative mutations were unknown. In this study, we show that KLHL7 forms a dimer, assembles with Cul3 through its BTB and BACK domains, and exerts E3 activity. Lys-48-linked but not Lys-63-linked polyubiquitin chain co-localized with KLHL7, which increased upon proteasome inhibition suggesting that KLHL7 mediates protein degradation via UPS. An adRP-causative missense mutation in the BACK domain of KLHL7 attenuated only the Cul3 interaction but not dimerization. Nevertheless, the incorporation of the mutant as a heterodimer in the Cul3-KLHL7 complex diminished the E3 ligase activity. Together, our results suggest that KLHL7 constitutes a Cul3-based E3 and that the disease-causing mutation inhibits ligase activity in a dominant negative manner, which may lead to the inappropriate accumulation of the substrates targeted for proteasomal degradation.
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:The histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) plays critical roles in human tumorigenesis and metastasis. As such, HDAC6-selective inhibitors have entered clinical trials for cancer therapy. However, the upstream regulator(s), especially ubiquitin E3 ligase(s), responsible for controlling the protein stability of HDAC6 remains largely undefined. Here, we report that Cullin 3SPOP earmarks HDAC6 for poly-ubiquitination and degradation. We found that the proteasome inhibitor MG132, or the Cullin-based E3 ligases inhibitor MLN4924, but not the autophagosome-lysosome inhibitor bafilomycin A1, stabilized endogenous HDAC6 protein in multiple cancer cell lines. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Cullin 3-based ubiquitin E3 ligase(s) primarily reduced the stability of HDAC6. Importantly, we identified SPOP, an adaptor protein of Cullin 3 family E3 ligases, specifically interacted with HDAC6, and promoted its poly-ubiquitination and subsequent degradation in cells. Notably, cancer-derived SPOP mutants disrupted their binding with HDAC6 and thereby failed to promote HDAC6 degradation. More importantly, increased cellular proliferation and migration in SPOP-depleted HCT116 colon cancer cells could be partly reversed by additional depletion of HDAC6, suggesting that HDAC6 is a key downstream effector for SPOP tumor suppressor function. Together, our data identify the tumor suppressor SPOP as an upstream negative regulator for HDAC6 stability, and SPOP loss-of-function mutations might lead to elevated levels of the HDAC6 oncoprotein to facilitate tumorigenesis and metastasis in various human cancers.