Regulation of apoptosis by Bat3-enhanced YWK-II protein/APLP2 stability.
ABSTRACT YWK-II protein/APLP2 is a member of an evolutionarily conserved protein family that includes amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid precursor like protein-1 (APLP1). We have previously demonstrated that YWK-II/APLP2 functions as a novel G(0)-protein-coupled receptor for Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS) in cell survival. However, factors regulating the stability and turnover of YWK-II/APLP2 have not been identified. Here we present evidence that human leukocyte antigen-B-associated transcript 3 (Bat3), an important regulator involved in apoptosis, can interact with YWK-II/APLP2 and enhance its stability by reducing its ubiquitination and degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Co-expression of different Bat3 domain deletion constructs with YWK-II/APLP2 reveals that the proline-rich domain of Bat3 is required for its binding to YWK-II/APLP2. In addition, we find that the protein levels of YWK-II/APLP2 could be enhanced by nuclear export of Bat3 under apoptotic stimulation. We also find elevated levels of Bat3 and YWK-II/APLP2 in human colorectal cancer with a positive correlation between the two. Taken together, these results have revealed a previously undefined mechanism regulating cell apoptosis and suggest that aberrant enhancement of YWK-II/APLP2 by nuclear export of Bat3 may play a role in cancer development by inhibiting cell apoptosis.