Publications by authors named "Kay Hofmann"

131 Publications

Discovery of a Family of Mixed Lineage Kinase Domain-like Proteins in Plants and Their Role in Innate Immune Signaling.

Cell Host Microbe 2020 12 13;28(6):813-824.e6. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, 50829 Cologne, Germany. Electronic address:

HeLo domain-containing mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL), a pseudokinase, mediates necroptotic cell death in animals. Here, we report the discovery of a conserved protein family across seed plants that structurally resembles vertebrate MLKL. The Arabidopsis genome encodes three MLKLs (AtMLKLs) with overlapping functions in disease resistance mediated by Toll-interleukin 1-receptor domain intracellular immune receptors (TNLs). The HeLo domain of AtMLKLs confers cell death activity but is dispensable for immunity. Cryo-EM structures reveal a tetrameric configuration, in which the HeLo domain is buried, suggestive of an auto-repressed complex. The mobility of AtMLKL1 along microtubules is reduced by chitin, a fungal immunity-triggering molecule. An AtMLKL1 phosphomimetic variant exhibiting reduced mobility enhances immunity. Coupled with the predicted presence of HeLo domains in plant helper NLRs, our data reveal the importance of HeLo domain proteins for TNL-dependent immunity and argue for a cell death-independent immune mechanism mediated by MLKLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.08.012DOI Listing
December 2020

An evolutionarily distinct chaperone promotes 20S proteasome α-ring assembly in plants.

J Cell Sci 2020 11 3;133(21). Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA

The core protease (CP) subcomplex of the 26S proteasome houses the proteolytic active sites and assumes a barrel shape comprised of four co-axially stacked heptameric rings formed by structurally related α- and β-subunits. CP biogenesis typically begins with the assembly of the α-ring, which then provides a template for β-subunit integration. In eukaryotes, α-ring assembly is partially mediated by two hetero-dimeric chaperones, termed Pba1-Pba2 (Add66) and Pba3-Pba4 (also known as Irc25-Poc4) in yeast. Pba1-Pba2 initially promotes orderly recruitment of the α-subunits through interactions between their C-terminal HbYX or HbF motifs and pockets at the α-α and α-α interfaces. Here, we identified PBAC5 as a fifth α-ring assembly chaperone in that directly binds the Pba1 homolog PBAC1 to form a trimeric PBAC5-PBAC1-PBAC2 complex. PBAC5 harbors a HbYX motif that docks with a pocket between the α and α subunits during α-ring construction. lacking PBAC5, PBAC1 and/or PBAC2 are hypersensitive to proteotoxic, salt and osmotic stresses, and display proteasome assembly defects. Remarkably, whereas PBAC5 is evolutionarily conserved among plants, sequence relatives are also dispersed within other kingdoms, including a scattered array of fungal, metazoan and oomycete species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.249862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7657472PMC
November 2020

Proteasomal degradation induced by DPP9-mediated processing competes with mitochondrial protein import.

EMBO J 2020 10 20;39(19):e103889. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Institute of Biochemistry, Redox Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Plasticity of the proteome is critical to adapt to varying conditions. Control of mitochondrial protein import contributes to this plasticity. Here, we identified a pathway that regulates mitochondrial protein import by regulated N-terminal processing. We demonstrate that dipeptidyl peptidases 8/9 (DPP8/9) mediate the N-terminal processing of adenylate kinase 2 (AK2) en route to mitochondria. We show that AK2 is a substrate of the mitochondrial disulfide relay, thus lacking an N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence and undergoing comparatively slow import. DPP9-mediated processing of AK2 induces its rapid proteasomal degradation and prevents cytosolic accumulation of enzymatically active AK2. Besides AK2, we identify more than 100 mitochondrial proteins with putative DPP8/9 recognition sites and demonstrate that DPP8/9 influence the cellular levels of a number of these proteins. Collectively, we provide in this study a conceptual framework on how regulated cytosolic processing controls levels of mitochondrial proteins as well as their dual localization to mitochondria and other compartments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embj.2019103889DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7527813PMC
October 2020

An evolutionary approach to systematic discovery of novel deubiquitinases, applied to .

Life Sci Alliance 2020 09 27;3(9). Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are important regulators of the posttranslational protein ubiquitination system. Mammalian genomes encode about 100 different DUBs, which can be grouped into seven different classes. Members of other DUB classes are found in pathogenic bacteria, which use them to target the host defense. By combining bioinformatical and experimental approaches, we address the question if the known DUB families have a common evolutionary ancestry and share conserved features that set them apart from other proteases. By systematically comparing family-specific hidden Markov models, we uncovered distant relationships between established DUBs and other cysteine protease families. Most DUB families share a conserved aromatic residue linked to the active site, which restricts the cleavage of substrates with side chains at the S2 position, corresponding to Gly-75 in ubiquitin. By applying these criteria to ORFs, we identified lpg1621 and lpg1148 as deubiquitinases, characterized their cleavage specificities, and confirmed the importance of the aromatic gatekeeper motif for substrate selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26508/lsa.202000838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391069PMC
September 2020

Identification and characterization of diverse OTU deubiquitinases in bacteria.

EMBO J 2020 08 22;39(15):e105127. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Manipulation of host ubiquitin signaling is becoming an increasingly apparent evolutionary strategy among bacterial and viral pathogens. By removing host ubiquitin signals, for example, invading pathogens can inactivate immune response pathways and evade detection. The ovarian tumor (OTU) family of deubiquitinases regulates diverse ubiquitin signals in humans. Viral pathogens have also extensively co-opted the OTU fold to subvert host signaling, but the extent to which bacteria utilize the OTU fold was unknown. We have predicted and validated a set of OTU deubiquitinases encoded by several classes of pathogenic bacteria. Biochemical assays highlight the ubiquitin and polyubiquitin linkage specificities of these bacterial deubiquitinases. By determining the ubiquitin-bound structures of two examples, we demonstrate the novel strategies that have evolved to both thread an OTU fold and recognize a ubiquitin substrate. With these new examples, we perform the first cross-kingdom structural analysis of the OTU fold that highlights commonalities among distantly related OTU deubiquitinases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020105127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396840PMC
August 2020

Function and evolution of the DNA-protein crosslink proteases Wss1 and SPRTN.

DNA Repair (Amst) 2020 04 6;88:102822. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Gene Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany; Department of Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Covalent DNA-protein crosslinks (DPCs) are highly toxic DNA adducts, which interfere with faithful DNA replication. The proteases Wss1 and SPRTN degrade DPCs and have emerged as crucially important DNA repair enzymes. Their protective role has been described in various model systems ranging from yeasts, plants, worms and flies to mice and humans. Loss of DPC proteases results in genome instability, cellular arrest, premature ageing and cancer predisposition. Here we discuss recent insights into the function and molecular mechanism of these enzymes. Furthermore, we present an in-depth phylogenetic analysis of the Wss1/SPRTN protease continuum. Remarkably flexible domain architectures and constantly changing protein-protein interaction motifs indicate ongoing evolutionary dynamics. Finally, we discuss recent data, which suggest that further partially-overlapping proteolytic systems targeting DPCs exist in eukaryotes. These new developments raise interesting questions regarding the division of labour between different DPC proteases and the mechanisms and principles of repair pathway choice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2020.102822DOI Listing
April 2020

Diubiquitin-Based NMR Analysis: Interactions Between Lys6-Linked diUb and UBA Domain of UBXN1.

Front Chem 2019 22;7:921. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Cell Biology II, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Ubiquitination is a process in which a protein is modified by the covalent attachment of the C-terminal carboxylic acid of ubiquitin (Ub) to the ε-amine of lysine or N-terminal methionine residue of a substrate protein or another Ub molecule. Each of the seven internal lysine residues and the N-terminal methionine residue of Ub can be linked to the C-terminus of another Ub moiety to form 8 distinct Ub linkages and the resulting differences in linkage types elicit different Ub signaling pathways. Cellular responses are triggered when proteins containing ubiquitin-binding domains (UBDs) recognize and bind to specific polyUb linkage types. To get more insight into the differences between polyUb chains, all of the seven lysine-linked di-ubiquitin molecules (diUbs) were prepared and used as a model to study their structural conformations in solution using NMR spectroscopy. We report the synthesis of diUb molecules, fully N-labeled on the distal (N-terminal) Ub moiety and revealed their structural orientation with respect to the proximal Ub. As expected, the diUb molecules exist in different conformations in solution, with multiple conformations known to exist for K6-, K48-, and K63-linked diUb molecules. These multiple conformations allow structural flexibility in binding with UBDs thereby inducing unique responses. One of the well-known but poorly understood UBD-Ub interaction is the recognition of K6 polyubiquitin by the ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain of UBXN1 in the BRCA-mediated DNA repair pathway. Using our synthetic N-labeled diUbs, we establish here how a C-terminally extended UBA domain of UBXN1 confers specificity to K6 diUb while the non-extended version of the domain does not show any linkage preference. We show that the two distinct conformations of K6 diUb that exist in solution converge into a single conformation upon binding to this extended form of the UBA domain of the UBXN1 protein. It is likely that more of such extended UBA domains exist in nature and can contribute to linkage-specificity in Ub signaling. The isotopically labeled diUb compounds described here and the use of NMR to study their interactions with relevant partner molecules will help accelerate our understanding of Ub signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2019.00921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6987245PMC
January 2020

Bacterial DUBs: deubiquitination beyond the seven classes.

Biochem Soc Trans 2019 12;47(6):1857-1866

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Straße 47a, D-50674 Cologne, Germany.

Protein ubiquitination is a posttranslational modification that regulates many aspects of cellular life, including proteostasis, vesicular trafficking, DNA repair and NF-κB activation. By directly targeting intracellular bacteria or bacteria-containing vacuoles to the lysosome, ubiquitination is also an important component of cell-autonomous immunity. Not surprisingly, several pathogenic bacteria encode deubiquitinases (DUBs) and use them as secreted effectors that prevent ubiquitination of bacterial components. A systematic overview of known bacterial DUBs, including their cleavage specificities and biological roles, suggests multiple independent acquisition events from host-encoded DUBs and other proteases. The widely used classification of DUBs into seven well-defined families should only be applied to eukaryotic DUBs, since several bacterial DUBs do not follow this classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BST20190526DOI Listing
December 2019

The Evolutionary Origins of Programmed Cell Death Signaling.

Authors:
Kay Hofmann

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2020 09 1;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne D-50674, Germany.

Programmed cell death (PCD) pathways are found in many phyla, ranging from developmentally programmed apoptosis in animals to cell-autonomous programmed necrosis pathways that limit the spread of biotrophic pathogens in multicellular assemblies. Prominent examples for the latter include animal necroptosis and pyroptosis, plant hypersensitive response (HR), and fungal heterokaryon incompatibility (HI) pathways. PCD pathways in the different kingdoms show fundamental differences in execution mechanism, morphology of the dying cells, and in the biological sequelae. Nevertheless, recent studies have revealed remarkable evolutionary parallels, including a striking sequence relationship between the "HeLo" domains found in the pore-forming components of necroptosis and some types of plant HR and fungal HI pathways. Other PCD execution components show cross-kingdom conservation as well, or are derived from prokaryotic ancestors. The currently available data suggest a model, wherein the primordial eukaryotic PCD pathway used proteins similar to present-day plant R-proteins and caused necrotic cell death by direct action of Toll and IL-1 receptor (TIR) and HeLo-like domains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a036442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7461761PMC
September 2020

Arkadia/RNF111 is a SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase with preference for substrates marked with SUMO1-capped SUMO2/3 chain.

Nat Commun 2019 08 15;10(1):3678. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Institute for Genetics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Cologne, Center of Molecular Biosciences, Zülpicher Str. 47a, D-50674, Cologne, Germany.

Modification with SUMO regulates many eukaryotic proteins. Down-regulation of sumoylated forms of proteins involves either their desumoylation, and hence recycling of the unmodified form, or their proteolytic targeting by ubiquitin ligases that recognize their SUMO modification (termed STUbL or ULS). STUbL enzymes such as Uls1 and Slx5-Slx8 in budding yeast or RNF4 and Arkadia/RNF111 in humans bear multiple SUMO interaction motifs to recognize substrates carrying poly-SUMO chains. Using yeast as experimental system and isothermal titration calorimetry, we here show that Arkadia specifically selects substrates carrying SUMO1-capped SUMO2/3 hybrid conjugates and targets them for proteasomal degradation. Our data suggest that a SUMO1-specific binding site in Arkadia with sequence similarity to a SUMO1-binding site in DPP9 is required for targeting endogenous hybrid SUMO conjugates and PML nuclear bodies in human cells. We thus characterize Arkadia as a STUbL with a preference for substrate proteins marked with distinct hybrid SUMO chains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11549-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695498PMC
August 2019

Mechanism and chain specificity of RNF216/TRIAD3, the ubiquitin ligase mutated in Gordon Holmes syndrome.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 09;28(17):2862-2873

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 47a, 50674 Cologne, Germany.

Gordon Holmes syndrome (GDHS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by ataxia and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. GDHS is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the RING-between-RING (RBR)-type ubiquitin ligase RNF216, also known as TRIAD3. The molecular pathology of GDHS is not understood, although RNF216 has been reported to modify several substrates with K48-linked ubiquitin chains, thereby targeting them for proteasomal degradation. We identified RNF216 in a bioinformatical screen for putative SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligases and confirmed that a cluster of predicted SUMO-interaction motifs (SIMs) indeed recognizes SUMO2 chains without targeting them for ubiquitination. Surprisingly, purified RNF216 turned out to be a highly active ubiquitin ligase that exclusively forms K63-linked ubiquitin chains, suggesting that the previously reported increase of K48-linked chains after RNF216 overexpression is an indirect effect. The linkage-determining region of RNF216 was mapped to a narrow window encompassing the last two Zn-fingers of the RBR triad, including a short C-terminal extension. Neither the SIMs nor a newly discovered ubiquitin-binding domain in the central portion of RNF216 contributes to chain specificity. Both missense mutations reported in GDHS patients completely abrogate the ubiquitin ligase activity. For the R660C mutation, ligase activity could be restored by using a chemical ubiquitin loading protocol that circumvents the requirement for ubiquitin-conjugating (E2) enzymes. This result suggests Arg-660 to be required for the ubiquitin transfer from the E2 to the catalytic cysteine. Our findings necessitate a re-evaluation of the previously assumed degradative role of RNF216 and rather argue for a non-degradative K63 ubiquitination, potentially acting on SUMOylated substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz098DOI Listing
September 2019

Ubiquitin-Mimicking Peptides Transfer Differentiates by E1 and E2 Enzymes.

Biomed Res Int 2018 30;2018:6062520. Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Engineering Research Center of Cell and Therapeutic Antibody, Ministry of Education, and School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

Ubiquitin and ubiquitin like proteins (UBLs) play key roles in eukaryotes. These proteins are attached to their target proteins through an E1-E2-E3 cascade and modify the functions of these proteins. Since the discovery of ubiquitin, several UBLs have been identified, including Nedd8, SUMO, ISG15, and Atg8. Ubiquitin and UBLs share a similar three-dimensional structure: -grasp fold and an X-X-[R/A/E/K]-X-X-[G/X]-G motif at the C-terminus. We have previously reported that ubiquitin, Nedd8, and SUMO mimicking peptides which all contain the conserved motif X-X-[R/A/E/K]-X-X-[G/X]-G still retained their reactivity toward their corresponding E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. In our current study, we investigated whether such C-terminal peptides could still be transferred onto related pathway enzymes to probe the function of these enzymes when they are fused with a protein. By bioinformatic search of protein databases, we selected eight proteins carrying the X-X-[R/A/E/K]-X-X-[G/X]-G motif at the C-terminus of the -grasp fold. We synthesized the C-terminal sequences of these candidates as short peptides and found that three of them showed significant reactivity with the ubiquitin E1 enzyme Ube1. We next fused the three reactive short peptides to three different protein frames, including their respective native protein frames, a ubiquitin frame and a peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) frame, and measured the reactivities of these peptide-fused proteins with Ube1. Peptide-fused proteins on ubiquitin and PCP frames showed obvious reactivity with Ube1. However, when we measured E2 UbcH7 transfer, we found that the PCP-peptide fusions lost their reactivity with UbcH7. Taken together, these results suggested that the recognition of E2 enzymes with peptide-fused proteins depended not only on the C-terminal sequences of the ubiquitin-mimicking peptides, but also on the overall structures of the protein frames.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/6062520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136576PMC
December 2018

ZFAND1 Recruits p97 and the 26S Proteasome to Promote the Clearance of Arsenite-Induced Stress Granules.

Mol Cell 2018 06 24;70(5):906-919.e7. Epub 2018 May 24.

Department of Biochemistry, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic assemblies of mRNPs stalled in translation initiation. They are induced by various stress conditions, including exposure to the environmental toxin and carcinogen arsenic. While perturbed SG turnover is linked to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, the molecular mechanisms underlying SG formation and turnover are still poorly understood. Here, we show that ZFAND1 is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of SG clearance. ZFAND1 interacts with two key factors of protein degradation, the 26S proteasome and the ubiquitin-selective segregase p97, and recruits them to arsenite-induced SGs. In the absence of ZFAND1, SGs lack the 26S proteasome and p97, accumulate defective ribosomal products, and persist after arsenite removal, indicating their transformation into aberrant, disease-linked SGs. Accordingly, ZFAND1 depletion is epistatic to the expression of pathogenic mutant p97 with respect to SG clearance, suggesting that ZFAND1 function is relevant to the multisystem degenerative disorder IBMPFD/ALS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.04.021DOI Listing
June 2018

Improved protein-crystal identification by using 2,2,2-trichloroethanol as a fluorescence enhancer.

Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun 2018 05 24;74(Pt 5):307-314. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Institute of Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47, 50674 Cologne, Germany.

The identification of initial lead conditions for successful protein crystallization is crucial for structural studies using X-ray crystallography. In order to reduce the number of false-negative conditions, an emerging number of fluorescence-based methods have been developed which allow more efficient identification of protein crystals and help to distinguish them from salt crystals. Detection of the native tryptophan fluorescence of protein crystals is one of the most widely used methods. However, this method can fail owing to the properties of the crystallized protein or the chemical composition of the crystallization trials. Here, a simple, fast and cost-efficient method employing 2,2,2-trichloroethanol (TCE) has been developed. It can be performed with a standard UV-light microscope and can be applied to cases in which detection of native tryptophan fluorescence fails. In four test cases this method had no effect on the diffraction properties of the crystals and no structural changes were observed. Further evidence is provided that TCE can be added to crystallization trials during their preparation, making this method compatible with high-throughput approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S2053230X18005253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931144PMC
May 2018

Activity-based E3 ligase profiling uncovers an E3 ligase with esterification activity.

Nature 2018 04 11;556(7701):381-385. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.

Ubiquitination is initiated by transfer of ubiquitin (Ub) from a ubiquitin-activating enzyme (E1) to a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2), producing a covalently linked intermediate (E2-Ub) . Ubiquitin ligases (E3s) of the 'really interesting new gene' (RING) class recruit E2-Ub via their RING domain and then mediate direct transfer of ubiquitin to substrates . By contrast, 'homologous to E6-AP carboxy terminus' (HECT) E3 ligases undergo a catalytic cysteine-dependent transthiolation reaction with E2-Ub, forming a covalent E3-Ub intermediate. Additionally, RING-between-RING (RBR) E3 ligases have a canonical RING domain that is linked to an ancillary domain. This ancillary domain contains a catalytic cysteine that enables a hybrid RING-HECT mechanism . Ubiquitination is typically considered a post-translational modification of lysine residues, as there are no known human E3 ligases with non-lysine activity. Here we perform activity-based protein profiling of HECT or RBR-like E3 ligases and identify the neuron-associated E3 ligase MYCBP2 (also known as PHR1) as the apparent single member of a class of RING-linked E3 ligase with esterification activity and intrinsic selectivity for threonine over serine. MYCBP2 contains two essential catalytic cysteine residues that relay ubiquitin to its substrate via thioester intermediates. Crystallographic characterization of this class of E3 ligase, which we designate RING-Cys-relay (RCR), provides insights into its mechanism and threonine selectivity. These findings implicate non-lysine ubiquitination in cellular regulation of higher eukaryotes and suggest that E3 enzymes have an unappreciated mechanistic diversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0026-1DOI Listing
April 2018

A family of unconventional deubiquitinases with modular chain specificity determinants.

Nat Commun 2018 02 23;9(1):799. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 47a, 50674, Cologne, Germany.

Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) regulate ubiquitin signaling by trimming ubiquitin chains or removing ubiquitin from modified substrates. Similar activities exist for ubiquitin-related modifiers, although the enzymes involved are usually not related. Here, we report human ZUFSP (also known as ZUP1 and C6orf113) and fission yeast Mug105 as founding members of a DUB family different from the six known DUB classes. The crystal structure of human ZUFSP in covalent complex with propargylated ubiquitin shows that the DUB family shares a fold with UFM1- and Atg8-specific proteases, but uses a different active site more similar to canonical DUB enzymes. ZUFSP family members differ widely in linkage specificity through differential use of modular ubiquitin-binding domains (UBDs). While the minimalistic Mug105 prefers K48 chains, ZUFSP uses multiple UBDs for its K63-specific endo-DUB activity. K63 specificity, localization, and protein interaction network suggest a role for ZUFSP in DNA damage response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03148-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5824887PMC
February 2018

Vps13D Encodes a Ubiquitin-Binding Protein that Is Required for the Regulation of Mitochondrial Size and Clearance.

Curr Biol 2018 01 4;28(2):287-295.e6. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA. Electronic address:

The clearance of mitochondria by autophagy, mitophagy, is important for cell and organism health [1], and known to be regulated by ubiquitin. During Drosophila intestine development, cells undergo a dramatic reduction in cell size and clearance of mitochondria that depends on autophagy, the E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme Uba1, and ubiquitin [2]. Here we screen a collection of putative ubiquitin-binding domain-encoding genes for cell size reduction and autophagy phenotypes. We identify the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) components TSG101 and Vps36, as well as the novel gene Vps13D. Vps13D is an essential gene that is necessary for autophagy, mitochondrial size, and mitochondrial clearance in Drosophila. Interestingly, a similar mitochondrial phenotype is observed in VPS13D mutant human cells. The ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain of Vps13D binds K63 ubiquitin chains, and mutants lacking the UBA domain have defects in mitochondrial size and clearance and exhibit semi-lethality, highlighting the importance of Vps13D ubiquitin binding in both mitochondrial health and development. VPS13D mutant cells possess phosphorylated DRP1 and mitochondrial fission factor (MFF) as well as DRP1 association with mitochondria, suggesting that VPS13D functions downstream of these known regulators of mitochondrial fission. In addition, the large Vps13D mitochondrial and cell size phenotypes are suppressed by decreased mitochondrial fusion gene function. Thus, these results provide a previously unknown link between ubiquitin, mitochondrial size regulation, and autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787036PMC
January 2018

HPV8-E6 Interferes with Syntenin-2 Expression through Deregulation of Differentiation, Methylation and Phosphatidylinositide-Kinase Dependent Mechanisms.

Front Microbiol 2017 8;8:1724. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Institute of Virology, University of CologneCologne, Germany.

The E6 oncoproteins of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) of genus alpha contain a short peptide sequence at the carboxy-terminus, the PDZ binding domain, with which they interact with the corresponding PDZ domain of cellular proteins. Interestingly, E6 proteins from papillomaviruses of genus beta (betaPV) do not encode a comparable PDZ binding domain. Irrespective of this fact, we previously showed that the E6 protein of HPV8 (betaPV type) could circumvent this deficit by targeting the PDZ protein Syntenin-2 through transcriptional repression (Lazic et al., 2012). Despite its high binding affinity to phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P), very little is known about Syntenin-2. This study aimed to extend the knowledge on Syntenin-2 and how its expression is controlled. We now identified that Syntenin-2 is expressed at high levels in differentiating and in lower amounts in keratinocytes cultured in serum-free media containing low calcium concentration. HPV8-E6 led to a further reduction of Syntenin-2 expression only in cells cultured in low calcium. In the skin of patients suffering from Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, who are predisposed to betaPV infection, Syntenin-2 was expressed in differentiating keratinocytes of non-lesional skin, but was absent in virus positive squamous tumors. Using 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, which causes DNA demethylation, Syntenin-2 transcription was profoundly activated and fully restored in the absence and presence of HPV8-E6, implicating that E6 mediated repression of Syntenin-2 transcription is due to promoter hypermethylation. Since Syntenin-2 binds to PI(4,5)P, we further tested whether the PI(4,5)P metabolic pathway might govern Syntenin-2 expression. PI(4,5)P is generated by the activity of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-5-kinase type I (PIP5KI) or phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate-4-kinase type II (PIP4KII) isoforms α, β and γ. Phosphatidylinositide kinases have recently been identified as regulators of gene transcription. Surprisingly, transfection of siRNAs directed against PIP5KI and PIP4KII resulted in higher Syntenin-2 expression with the highest effect mediated by siPIP5KIα. HPV8-E6 was able to counteract siPIP4KIIα, siPIP4KIIβ and siPIP5KIγ mediated Syntenin-2 re-expression but not siPIP5KIα. Finally, we identified Syntenin-2 as a key factor regulating PIP5KIα expression. Collectively, our data demonstrates that Syntenin-2 is regulated through multiple mechanisms and that downregulation of Syntenin-2 expression may contribute to E6 mediated dedifferentiation of infected skin cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5609557PMC
September 2017

UBL/BAG-domain co-chaperones cause cellular stress upon overexpression through constitutive activation of Hsf1.

Cell Stress Chaperones 2017 01 14;22(1):143-154. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

The Linderstrøm-Land Centre, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaløes Vej 5, 2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark.

As a result of exposure to stress conditions, mutations, or defects during synthesis, cellular proteins are prone to misfold. To cope with such partially denatured proteins, cells mount a regulated transcriptional response involving the Hsf1 transcription factor, which drives the synthesis of molecular chaperones and other stress-relieving proteins. Here, we show that the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologues of human BAG-1, Bag101, and Bag102, are Hsp70 co-chaperones that associate with 26S proteasomes. Only a subgroup of Hsp70-type chaperones, including Ssa1, Ssa2, and Sks2, binds Bag101 and Bag102 and key residues in the Hsp70 ATPase domains, required for interaction with Bag101 and Bag102, were identified. In humans, BAG-1 overexpression is typically observed in cancers. Overexpression of bag101 and bag102 in fission yeast leads to a strong growth defect caused by triggering Hsp70 to release and activate the Hsf1 transcription factor. Accordingly, the bag101-linked growth defect is alleviated in strains containing a reduced amount of Hsf1 but aggravated in hsp70 deletion strains. In conclusion, we propose that the fission yeast UBL/BAG proteins release Hsf1 from Hsp70, leading to constitutive Hsf1 activation and growth defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12192-016-0751-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225068PMC
January 2017

Linear ubiquitination by LUBEL has a role in Drosophila heat stress response.

EMBO Rep 2016 11 4;17(11):1624-1640. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Vienna, Austria

The HOIP ubiquitin E3 ligase generates linear ubiquitin chains by forming a complex with HOIL-1L and SHARPIN in mammals. Here, we provide the first evidence of linear ubiquitination induced by a HOIP orthologue in Drosophila We identify Drosophila CG11321, which we named Linear Ubiquitin E3 ligase (LUBEL), and find that it catalyzes linear ubiquitination in vitro We detect endogenous linear ubiquitin chain-derived peptides by mass spectrometry in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells and adult flies. Furthermore, using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we establish linear ubiquitination-defective flies by mutating residues essential for the catalytic activity of LUBEL Linear ubiquitination signals accumulate upon heat shock in flies. Interestingly, flies with LUBEL mutations display reduced survival and climbing defects upon heat shock, which is also observed upon specific LUBEL depletion in muscle. Thus, LUBEL is involved in the heat response by controlling linear ubiquitination in flies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embr.201642378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5090701PMC
November 2016

Translocon component Sec62 acts in endoplasmic reticulum turnover during stress recovery.

Nat Cell Biol 2016 11 17;18(11):1173-1184. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Università della Svizzera italiana, CH-6900 Lugano, Switzerland.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a site of protein biogenesis in eukaryotic cells. Perturbing ER homeostasis activates stress programs collectively called the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR enhances production of ER-resident chaperones and enzymes to reduce the burden of misfolded proteins. On resolution of ER stress, ill-defined, selective autophagic programs remove excess ER components. Here we identify Sec62, a constituent of the translocon complex regulating protein import in the mammalian ER, as an ER-resident autophagy receptor. Sec62 intervenes during recovery from ER stress to selectively deliver ER components to the autolysosomal system for clearance in a series of events that we name recovER-phagy. Sec62 contains a conserved LC3-interacting region in the C-terminal cytosolic domain that is required for its function in recovER-phagy, but is dispensable for its function in the protein translocation machinery. Our results identify Sec62 as a critical molecular component in maintenance and recovery of ER homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncb3423DOI Listing
November 2016

Overlapping Role of Respiratory Supercomplex Factor Rcf2 and Its N-terminal Homolog Rcf3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

J Biol Chem 2016 Nov 23;291(45):23769-23778. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

From the Department of Cellular Biochemistry, University Medical Center Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany and

The mitochondrial electron transport chain consists of individual protein complexes arranged into large macromolecular structures, termed respiratory chain supercomplexes or respirasomes. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, respiratory chain supercomplexes form by association of the bc complex with the cytochrome c oxidase. Formation and maintenance of these assemblies are promoted by specific respiratory supercomplex factors, the Rcf proteins. For these proteins a regulatory function in bridging the electron transfer within supercomplexes has been proposed. Here we report on the maturation of Rcf2 into an N- and C-terminal peptide. We show that the previously uncharacterized Rcf3 (YBR255c-A) is a homolog of the N-terminal Rcf2 peptide, whereas Rcf1 is homologous to the C-terminal portion. Both Rcf3 and the C-terminal fragment of Rcf2 associate with monomeric cytochrome c oxidase and respiratory chain supercomplexes. A lack of Rcf2 and Rcf3 increases oxygen flux through the respiratory chain by up-regulation of the cytochrome c oxidase activity. A double gene deletion of RCF2 and RCF3 affects cellular survival under non-fermentable growth conditions, suggesting an overlapping role for both proteins in the regulation of the OXPHOS activity. Furthermore, our data suggest an association of all three Rcf proteins with the bc complex in the absence of a functional cytochrome c oxidase and identify a supercomplex independent interaction network of the Rcf proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.734665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095429PMC
November 2016

Human DNA-Damage-Inducible 2 Protein Is Structurally and Functionally Distinct from Its Yeast Ortholog.

Sci Rep 2016 07 27;6:30443. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

Gilead Sciences and IOCB Research Center, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Flemingovo n. 2, 166 10 Prague 6, Czech Republic.

Although Ddi1-like proteins are conserved among eukaryotes, their biological functions remain poorly characterized. Yeast Ddi1 has been implicated in cell cycle regulation, DNA-damage response, and exocytosis. By virtue of its ubiquitin-like (UBL) and ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domains, it has been proposed to serve as a proteasomal shuttle factor. All Ddi1-like family members also contain a highly conserved retroviral protease-like (RVP) domain with unknown substrate specificity. While the structure and biological function of yeast Ddi1 have been investigated, no such analysis is available for the human homologs. To address this, we solved the 3D structures of the human Ddi2 UBL and RVP domains and identified a new helical domain that extends on either side of the RVP dimer. While Ddi1-like proteins from all vertebrates lack a UBA domain, we identify a novel ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM) located at the C-terminus of the protein. The UIM showed a weak yet specific affinity towards ubiquitin, as did the Ddi2 UBL domain. However, the full-length Ddi2 protein is unable to bind to di-ubiquitin chains. While proteomic analysis revealed no activity, implying that the protease requires other factors for activation, our structural characterization of all domains of human Ddi2 sets the stage for further characterization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep30443DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962041PMC
July 2016

MINDY-1 Is a Member of an Evolutionarily Conserved and Structurally Distinct New Family of Deubiquitinating Enzymes.

Mol Cell 2016 07 9;63(1):146-55. Epub 2016 Jun 9.

MRC Protein Phosphorylation & Ubiquitylation Unit, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK. Electronic address:

Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) remove ubiquitin (Ub) from Ub-conjugated substrates to regulate the functional outcome of ubiquitylation. Here we report the discovery of a new family of DUBs, which we have named MINDY (motif interacting with Ub-containing novel DUB family). Found in all eukaryotes, MINDY-family DUBs are highly selective at cleaving K48-linked polyUb, a signal that targets proteins for degradation. We identify the catalytic activity to be encoded within a previously unannotated domain, the crystal structure of which reveals a distinct protein fold with no homology to any of the known DUBs. The crystal structure of MINDY-1 (also known as FAM63A) in complex with propargylated Ub reveals conformational changes that realign the active site for catalysis. MINDY-1 prefers cleaving long polyUb chains and works by trimming chains from the distal end. Collectively, our results reveal a new family of DUBs that may have specialized roles in regulating proteostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2016.05.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4942677PMC
July 2016

Identification of a novel cell death-inducing domain reveals that fungal amyloid-controlled programmed cell death is related to necroptosis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 Mar 22;113(10):2720-5. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Institut de Biochimie et de Génétique Cellulaire, CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, 33077 Bordeaux, France;

Recent findings have revealed the role of prion-like mechanisms in the control of host defense and programmed cell death cascades. In fungi, HET-S, a cell death-inducing protein containing a HeLo pore-forming domain, is activated through amyloid templating by a Nod-like receptor (NLR). Here we characterize the HELLP protein behaving analogously to HET-S and bearing a new type of N-terminal cell death-inducing domain termed HeLo-like (HELL) and a C-terminal regulatory amyloid motif known as PP. The gene encoding HELLP is part of a three-gene cluster also encoding a lipase (SBP) and a Nod-like receptor, both of which display the PP motif. The PP motif is similar to the RHIM amyloid motif directing formation of the RIP1/RIP3 necrosome in humans. The C-terminal region of HELLP, HELLP(215-278), encompassing the motif, allows prion propagation and assembles into amyloid fibrils, as demonstrated by X-ray diffraction and FTIR analyses. Solid-state NMR studies reveal a well-ordered local structure of the amyloid core residues and a primary sequence that is almost entirely arranged in a rigid conformation, and confirm a β-sheet structure in an assigned stretch of three amino acids. HELLP is activated by amyloid templating and displays membrane-targeting and cell death-inducing activity. HELLP targets the SBP lipase to the membrane, suggesting a synergy between HELLP and SBP in membrane dismantling. Remarkably, the HeLo-like domain of HELLP is homologous to the pore-forming domain of MLKL, the cell death-execution protein in necroptosis, revealing a transkingdom evolutionary relationship between amyloid-controlled fungal programmed cell death and mammalian necroptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1522361113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790977PMC
March 2016

A short conserved motif in ALYREF directs cap- and EJC-dependent assembly of export complexes on spliced mRNAs.

Nucleic Acids Res 2016 Mar 14;44(5):2348-61. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, D-50674 Cologne, Germany

The export of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) is the final of several nuclear posttranscriptional steps of gene expression. The formation of export-competent mRNPs involves the recruitment of export factors that are assumed to facilitate transport of the mature mRNAs. Using in vitro splicing assays, we show that a core set of export factors, including ALYREF, UAP56 and DDX39, readily associate with the spliced RNAs in an EJC (exon junction complex)- and cap-dependent manner. In order to elucidate how ALYREF and other export adaptors mediate mRNA export, we conducted a computational analysis and discovered four short, conserved, linear motifs present in RNA-binding proteins. We show that mutation in one of the new motifs (WxHD) in an unstructured region of ALYREF reduced RNA binding and abolished the interaction with eIF4A3 and CBP80. Additionally, the mutation impaired proper localization to nuclear speckles and export of a spliced reporter mRNA. Our results reveal important details of the orchestrated recruitment of export factors during the formation of export competent mRNPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4797287PMC
March 2016

Ubiquitin Receptor Protein UBASH3B Drives Aurora B Recruitment to Mitotic Microtubules.

Dev Cell 2016 Jan;36(1):63-78

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7104, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U964, Université de Strasbourg, 67404 Illkirch, France. Electronic address:

Mitosis ensures equal segregation of the genome and is controlled by a variety of ubiquitylation signals on substrate proteins. However, it remains unexplored how the versatile ubiquitin code is read out during mitotic progression. Here, we identify the ubiquitin receptor protein UBASH3B as an important regulator of mitosis. UBASH3B interacts with ubiquitylated Aurora B, one of the main kinases regulating chromosome segregation, and controls its subcellular localization but not protein levels. UBASH3B is a limiting factor in this pathway and is sufficient to localize Aurora B to microtubules prior to anaphase. Importantly, targeting Aurora B to microtubules by UBASH3B is necessary for the timing and fidelity of chromosome segregation in human cells. Our findings uncover an important mechanism defining how ubiquitin attachment to a substrate protein is decoded during mitosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2015.12.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400057PMC
January 2016

Evolutionary Loss of Activity in De-Ubiquitylating Enzymes of the OTU Family.

PLoS One 2015 20;10(11):e0143227. Epub 2015 Nov 20.

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, c/o LiMeS, Carl-Troll-Str. 31, 53115, Bonn, Germany.

Understanding function and specificity of de-ubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) is a major goal of current research, since DUBs are key regulators of ubiquitylation events and have been shown to be mutated in human diseases. Most DUBs are cysteine proteases, relying on a catalytic triad of cysteine, histidine and aspartate to cleave the isopeptide bond between two ubiquitin units in a poly-ubiquitin chain. We have discovered that the two Drosophila melanogaster homologues of human OTUD4, CG3251 and Otu, contain a serine instead of a cysteine in the catalytic OTU (ovarian tumor) domain. DUBs that are serine proteases instead of cysteine- or metallo-proteases have not been described. In line with this, neither CG3251 nor Otu protein were active to cleave ubiquitin chains. Re-introduction of a cysteine in the catalytic center did not render the enzymes active, indicating that further critical features for ubiquitin binding or cleavage have been lost in these proteins. Sequence analysis of OTUD4 homologues from various other species showed that within this OTU subfamily, loss of the catalytic cysteine has occurred frequently in presumably independent events, as well as gene duplications or triplications, suggesting DUB-independent functions of OTUD4 proteins. Using an in vivo RNAi approach, we show that CG3251 might function in the regulation of Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP)-antagonist-induced apoptosis, presumably in a DUB-independent manner.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0143227PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654579PMC
June 2016

A new vertebrate SUMO enzyme family reveals insights into SUMO-chain assembly.

Nat Struct Mol Biol 2015 Dec 2;22(12):959-67. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Department of Epigenetics, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany.

SUMO chains act as stress-induced degradation tags or repair factor-recruiting signals at DNA lesions. Although E1 activating, E2 conjugating and E3 ligating enzymes efficiently assemble SUMO chains, specific chain-elongation mechanisms are unknown. E4 elongases are specialized E3 ligases that extend a chain but are inefficient in the initial conjugation of the modifier. We identified ZNF451, a representative member of a new class of SUMO2 and SUMO3 (SUMO2/3)-specific enzymes that execute catalysis via a tandem SUMO-interaction motif (SIM) region. One SIM positions the donor SUMO while a second SIM binds SUMO on the back side of the E2 enzyme. This tandem-SIM region is sufficient to extend a back side-anchored SUMO chain (E4 elongase activity), whereas efficient chain initiation also requires a zinc-finger region to recruit the initial acceptor SUMO (E3 ligase activity). Finally, we describe four human proteins sharing E4 elongase activities and their function in stress-induced SUMO2/3 conjugation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.3114DOI Listing
December 2015
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