Emerging Roles of USP18: From Biology to Pathophysiology.
ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic proteomes are enormously sophisticated through versatile post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins. A large variety of code generated via PTMs of proteins by ubiquitin (ubiquitination) and ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls), such as interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15), small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) and neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 8 (NEDD8), not only provides distinct signals but also orchestrates a plethora of biological processes, thereby underscoring the necessity for sophisticated and fine-tuned mechanisms of code regulation. Deubiquitinases (DUBs) play a pivotal role in the disassembly of the complex code and removal of the signal. Ubiquitin-specific protease 18 (USP18), originally referred to as UBP43, is a major DUB that reverses the PTM of target proteins by ISG15 (ISGylation). Intriguingly, USP18 is a multifaceted protein that not only removes ISG15 or ubiquitin from conjugated proteins in a deconjugating activity-dependent manner but also acts as a negative modulator of type I IFN signaling, irrespective of its catalytic activity. The function of USP18 has become gradually clear, but not yet been completely addressed. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the multifaceted roles of USP18. We also highlight new insights into how USP18 is implicated not only in physiology but also in pathogenesis of various human diseases, involving infectious diseases, neurological disorders, and cancers. Eventually, we integrate a discussion of the potential of therapeutic interventions for targeting USP18 for disease treatment.
Project description:The family of ubiquitin-like molecules (UbLs) comprises several members, each of which has sequence, structural, or functional similarity to ubiquitin. ISG15 is a homolog of ubiquitin in vertebrates and is strongly upregulated following induction by type I interferon. ISG15 can be covalently attached to proteins, analogous to ubiquitination and with actual support of ubiquitin conjugating factors. Specific proteases are able to reverse modification with ubiquitin or UbLs by hydrolyzing the covalent bond between their C-termini and substrate proteins. The tail regions of ubiquitin and ISG15 are identical and we therefore hypothesized that promiscuous deubiquitinating proteases (DUBs) might exist, capable of recognizing both ubiquitin and ISG15.We have cloned and expressed 22 human DUBs, representing the major clades of the USP protease family. Utilizing suicide inhibitors based on ubiquitin and ISG15, we have identified USP2, USP5 (IsoT1), USP13 (IsoT3), and USP14 as ISG15-reactive proteases, in addition to the bona fide ISG15-specific protease USP18 (UBP43). USP14 is a proteasome-associated DUB, and its ISG15 isopeptidase activity increases when complexed with the proteasome.By evolutionary standards, ISG15 is a newcomer among the UbLs and it apparently not only utilizes the conjugating but also the deconjugating machinery of its more established relative ubiquitin. Functional overlap between these two posttranslational modifiers might therefore be more extensive than previously appreciated and explain the rather innocuous phenotype of ISG15 null mice.
Project description:More effective treatments for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) are needed. APL cell treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) degrades the chimeric, dominant-negative-acting transcription factor promyelocytic leukemia gene (PML)/RAR?, which is generated in APL by chromosomal translocation. The E1-like ubiquitin-activating enzyme (UBE1L) associates with interferon-stimulated gene ISG15 that binds and represses PML/RAR? protein. Ubiquitin protease UBP43/USP18 removes ISG15 from conjugated proteins. In this study, we explored how RA regulates UBP43 expression and the effects of UBP43 on PML/RAR? stability and APL growth, apoptosis, or differentiation. RA treatment induced UBE1L, ISG15, and UBP43 expression in RA-sensitive but not RA-resistant APL cells. Similar in vivo findings were obtained in a transgenic mouse model of transplantable APL, and in the RA response of leukemic cells harvested directly from APL patients. UBP43 knockdown repressed PML/RAR? protein levels and inhibited RA-sensitive or RA-resistant cell growth by destabilizing the PML domain of PML/RAR?. This inhibitory effect promoted apoptosis but did not affect the RA differentiation response in these APL cells. In contrast, elevation of UBP43 expression stabilized PML/RAR? protein and inhibited apoptosis. Taken together, our findings define the ubiquitin protease UBP43 as a novel candidate drug target for APL treatment.
Project description:New pharmacologic targets are needed for lung cancer. One candidate pathway to target is composed of the E1-like ubiquitin-activating enzyme (UBE1L) that associates with interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15), which complexes with and destabilizes cyclin D1. Ubiquitin protease 43 (UBP43/USP18) removes ISG15 from conjugated proteins. This study reports that gain of UBP43 stabilized cyclin D1, but not other D-type cyclins or cyclin E. This depended on UBP43 enzymatic activity; an enzymatically inactive UBP43 did not affect cyclin D1 stability. As expected, small interfering RNAs that reduced UBP43 expression also decreased cyclin D1 levels and increased apoptosis in a panel of lung cancer cell lines. Forced cyclin D1 expression rescued UBP43 apoptotic effects, which highlighted the importance of cyclin D1 in conferring this. Short hairpin RNA-mediated reduction of UBP43 significantly increased apoptosis and reduced murine lung cancer growth in vitro and in vivo after transplantation of these cells into syngeneic mice. These cells also exhibited increased response to all-trans-retinoic acid, interferon, or cisplatin treatments. Notably, gain of UBP43 expression antagonized these effects. Normal-malignant human lung tissue arrays were examined independently for UBP43, cyclin D1, and cyclin E immunohistochemical expression. UBP43 was significantly (P < 0.01) increased in the malignant versus normal lung. A direct relationship was found between UBP43 and cyclin D1 (but not cyclin E) expression. Differential UBP43 expression was independently detected in a normal-malignant tissue array with diverse human cancers. Taken together, these findings uncovered UBP43 as a previously unrecognized antineoplastic target.
Project description:Ubiquitin-specific protease 18 (USP18, also known as UBP43) has both interferon stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) dependent and ISG15-independent functions. By silencing the expression of USP18 in HepG2.2.15 cells, we studied the effect of USP18 on the anti-HBV activity of IFN-F and demonstrated that knockdown of USP18 significantly Inhibited the HBV expression and increased the expression of ISGs. Levels of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B virus e antigen (HBeAg), HBV DNA and intracellular hepatitis B virus core antigen (HBcAg) were dramatically decreased with or without treatment of indicated dose of IFN-F. Suppression of USP18 activated the JAK/STAT signaling pathway as shown by the increased and prolonged expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (p-STAT1) in combination with enhanced expression of several interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). Our results indicated that USP18 modulates the anti-HBV activity of IFN-F via activation of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway in Hepg2.2.15 cells.
Project description:Interferons (IFNs) regulate diverse cellular functions through activation of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway. Lack of Ubp43, an IFN-inducible ISG15 deconjugating enzyme, leads to IFN hypersensitivity in ubp43-/- mice, suggesting an important function of Ubp43 in downregulation of IFN responses. Here, we show that Ubp43 negatively regulates IFN signaling independent of its isopeptidase activity towards ISG15. Ubp43 functions specifically for type I IFN signaling by downregulating the JAK-STAT pathway at the level of the IFN receptor. Using molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that Ubp43 specifically binds to the IFNAR2 receptor subunit and inhibits the activity of receptor-associated JAK1 by blocking the interaction between JAK and the IFN receptor. These data implicate Ubp43 as a novel in vivo inhibitor of signal transduction pathways that are specifically triggered by type I IFN.
Project description:Protein modification by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifiers (Ubls) is counteracted by ubiquitin proteases and Ubl proteases, collectively termed DUBs. In contrast to other proteases of the ubiquitin-specific protease (USP) family, USP18 shows no reactivity toward ubiquitin but specifically deconjugates the interferon-induced Ubl ISG15. To identify the molecular determinants of this specificity, we solved the crystal structures of mouse USP18 alone and in complex with mouse ISG15. USP18 was crystallized in an open and a closed conformation, thus revealing high flexibility of the enzyme. Structural data, biochemical and mutational analysis showed that only the C-terminal ubiquitin-like domain of ISG15 is recognized and essential for USP18 activity. A critical hydrophobic patch in USP18 interacts with a hydrophobic region unique to ISG15, thus providing evidence that USP18's ISG15 specificity is mediated by a small interaction interface. Our results may provide a structural basis for the development of new drugs modulating ISG15 linkage.
Project description:Since the discovery of the ubiquitin system and the description of its important role in the degradation of proteins, many studies have shown the importance of ubiquitin-specific peptidases (USPs). One special member of this family is the USP18 protein (formerly UBP43). In the past two decades, several functions of USP18 have been discovered: this protein is not only an isopeptidase but also a potent inhibitor of interferon signaling. Therefore, USP18 functions as 'a' maestro of many biological pathways in various cell types. This review outlines multiple functions of USP18 in the regulation of various immunological processes, including pathogen control, cancer development, and autoimmune diseases.
Project description:ISG15 (ISG15 ubiquitin-like modifier), a ubiquitin-like protein, is one of the major type I IFN (interferon) effector systems. ISG15 can be conjugated to target proteins (ISGylation) via the stepwise action of E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. Conjugated ISG15 can be removed (deISGylated) from target proteins by USP18 (ubiquitin-specific peptidase 18). Here we investigated the role of deISGylation by USP18 in regulating autophagy and EGFR degradation in cells treated with type I IFNs. We show that type I IFN induced expression of ISG15 leads to ISGylation of BECN1 at Lys117, as well as Lys263, Lys265, and Lys266 which competes with Lys63 ubiquitination of BECN1. We demonstrate that ISGylation of BECN1 at Lys117, as well as Lys263, Lys265, and Lys266 serve an important role in negative regulation of intracellular processes including autophagy and EGFR degradation that are critically dependent upon the activity of class III PtdIns 3-kinase. Our studies provide fundamental new mechanistic insights into the innate immunity response implemented by type I IFNs.
Project description:USP18 is an isopeptidase that cleaves the ubiquitin-like ISG15 from conjugates and is also an essential negative feedback regulator of type I interferon signaling. We and others reported that USP18 protein is stabilized by ISG15 and targeted for degradation by SKP2 (S-phase kinase associated protein 2), the substrate-recognition subunit of the SCFSKP2 ubiquitin E3 ligase complex, which operates in cell cycle progression. Here, we have analyzed how, under non stimulated conditions, USP18, ISG15 and SKP2 communicate with each other, by enforcing or silencing their expression. We found that USP18 and SKP2 interact and that free ISG15 abrogates the complex, liberating USP18 from degradation and concomitantly driving SKP2 to degradation and/or ISGylation. These data reveal a dynamic interplay where the substrate USP18 stabilizes SKP2, both exogenous and endogenous. Consistent with this we show that silencing of baseline USP18 slows down progression of HeLa S3 cells towards S phase. Our findings point to USP18 and ISG15 as unexpected new SKP2 regulators, which aid in cell cycle progression at homeostasis.