The small GTPase Rac1 is a key regulator of cell motility. Multiple mechanisms regulate Rac1 activity including its ubiquitylation and subsequent degradation. Here, we identify the tumour suppressor HACE1 (HECT domain and Ankyrin repeat Containing E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase 1) as an E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for Rac1 degradation following activation by a migration stimulus. We show that HACE1 and Rac1 interaction is enhanced by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signalling, a Rac activator and potent stimulus of cell migration. Furthermore, HACE1 catalyses the poly-ubiquitylation of Rac1 at lysine 147 following its activation by HGF, resulting in its proteasomal degradation. This negative feedback mechanism likely restricts cell motility. Consistent with this, HACE1 depletion is accompanied by increased total Rac1 levels and accumulation of Rac1 in membrane ruffles. Moreover, HACE1-depletion enhances cell migration independently of growth factor stimulation, which may have significance for malignant conversion. A non-ubiquitylatable Rac1 rescues the migration defect of Rac1-null cells to a greater extent than wild-type Rac1. These findings identify HACE1 as an antagonist of cell migration through its ability to degrade active Rac1.Oncogene advance online publication, 21 May 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.189.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent discoveries have unveiled the roles of a complicated network of E3 ubiquitin ligases in regulating cell migration machineries. The E3 ubiquitin ligases Smurf1 and Cul/BACURD ubiquitinate RhoA to regulate stress fiber formation and cell polarity, and ASB2α ubiquitinates filamins to modulate cytoskeletal stiffness, thus regulating cell spreading and cell migration. HACE1, XIAP, and Skp1-Cul1-F-box bind to Rac1 and cause its ubiquitination and degradation, thus suppressing lamellipodium protrusions, while PIAS3, a SUMO ligase, activates Rac1 to promote lamellipodium dynamics. Smurf1 also enhances Rac1 activation but it does not ubiquitinate Rac1. Both Smurf1 and HECTD1 regulate focal adhesion (FA) assembly and (or) disassembly through ubiquitinating the talin head domain and phosphatidylinositol 4 phosphate 5-kinase type I γ (PIPKIγ90), respectively. Thus, E3 ubiquitin ligases regulate stress fiber formation, cell polarity, lamellipodium protrusions, and FA dynamics through ubiquitinating the key proteins that control these processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular signaling by small GTPases is critically dependent on proper spatio-temporal orchestration of activation and output. In addition to their core G (guanine nucleotide binding)-domain, small GTPases comprise a hypervariable region (HVR) and a lipid anchor that are generally accepted to control subcellullar localization. The HVR encodes in many small GTPases a polybasic region (PBR) that permits charge-mediated association to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane or to intracellular organelles. Over the past 15-20 years, evidence has accumulated for specific protein-protein interactions, mediated by the HVR, that control both targeting and signaling specificity of small GTPases. Using the RhoGTPase Rac1 as a paradigm we here review a series of protein partners that require the Rac1 HVR for association and that control various aspects of localized Rac1 signaling. Some of these proteins represent Rac1 activators, whereas others mediate Rac1 inactivation and degradation and yet others potentiate Rac1 downstream signaling. Finally, evidence is discussed which shows that the HVR of Rac1 also contributes to effector interactions, co-operating with the N-terminal effector domain. The complexity of localized Rac1 signaling, reviewed here, is most likely exemplary for many other small GTPases as well, representing a challenge to identify and define similar mechanisms controlling the specific signaling induced by small GTPases.
Small GTPases 01/2013; 4(2). DOI:10.4161/sgtp.23310
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Hace1-HECT E3 ligase is a tumor suppressor that ubiquitylates the activated GTP-bound form of the Rho family GTPase Rac1, leading to Rac1 proteasomal degradation. Here we show that, in vertebrates, Hace1 targets Rac1 for degradation when Rac1 is localized to the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase holoenzyme. This event blocks de novo reactive oxygen species generation by Rac1-dependent NADPH oxidases, and thereby confers cellular protection from reactive oxygen species-induced DNA damage and cyclin D1-driven hyper-proliferation. Genetic inactivation of Hace1 in mice or zebrafish, as well as Hace1 loss in human tumor cell lines or primary murine or human tumors, leads to chronic NADPH oxidase-dependent reactive oxygen species elevation, DNA damage responses and enhanced cyclin D1 expression. Our data reveal a conserved ubiquitin-dependent molecular mechanism that controls the activity of Rac1-dependent NADPH oxidase complexes, and thus constitutes the first known example of a tumor suppressor protein that directly regulates reactive oxygen species production in vertebrates.
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