Placing a disrupted degradation motif at the C terminus of proteasome substrates attenuates degradation without impairing ubiquitylation

Omri S. Alfassy, Itamar Cohen, Yuval Reiss, Boaz Tirosh, Tommer Ravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Protein elimination by the ubiquitin-proteasome system requires the presence of a cis-acting degradation signal. Efforts to discern degradation signals of misfolded proteasome substrates thus far revealed a general mechanism whereby the exposure of cryptic hydrophobic motifs provides a degradation determinant. We have previously characterized such a determinant, employing the yeast kinetochore protein Ndc10 as a model substrate. Ndc10 is essentially a stable protein that is rapidly degraded upon exposure of a hydrophobic motif located at the C-terminal region. The degradation motif comprises two distinct and essential elements: DegA, encompassing two amphipathic helices, and DegB, a hydrophobic sequence within the loosely structured C-terminal tail of Ndc10. Here we show that the hydrophobic nature of DegB is irrelevant for the ubiquitylation of substrates containing the Ndc10 degradation motif, but is essential for proteasomal degradation. Mutant DegB, in which the hydrophobic sequence was disrupted, acted as a dominant degradation inhibitory element when expressed at the C-terminal regions of ubiquitin-dependent and -independent substrates of the 26S proteasome. This mutant stabilized substrates in both yeast and mammalian cells, indicative of a modular recognition moiety. The dominant function of the mutant DegB provides a powerful experimental tool for evaluating the physiological implications of stabilization of specific proteasome substrates in intact cells and for studying the associated pathological effects.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12645-12653
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume288
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 May 2013

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