Smad ubiquitylation regulatory factor 1/2 (Smurf1/2) promotes p53 degradation by stabilizing the E3 ligase MDM2.
ABSTRACT The tumor suppressor p53 protein is tightly regulated by a ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation mechanism. Several E3 ubiquitin ligases, including MDM2 (mouse double minute 2), have been reported to play an essential role in the regulation of p53 stability. However, it remains unclear how the activity of these E3 ligases is regulated. Here, we show that the HECT-type E3 ligase Smurf1/2 (Smad ubiquitylation regulatory factor 1/2) promotes p53 degradation by enhancing the activity of the E3 ligase MDM2. We provide evidence that the role of Smurf1/2 on the p53 stability is not dependent on the E3 activity of Smurf1/2 but rather is dependent on the activity of MDM2. We find that Smurf1/2 stabilizes MDM2 by enhancing the heterodimerization of MDM2 with MDMX, during which Smurf1/2 interacts with MDM2 and MDMX. We finally provide evidence that Smurf1/2 regulates apoptosis through p53. To our knowledge, this is the first report to demonstrate that Smurf1/2 functions as a factor to stabilize MDM2 protein rather than as a direct E3 ligase in regulation of p53 degradation.
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ABSTRACT: Attempts to target mutant KRAS have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the identification of Smad ubiquitination regulatory factor 2 (SMURF2) and UBCH5 as a critical E3:E2 complex maintaining KRAS protein stability. Loss of SMURF2 either by small interfering RNA/short hairpin RNA (siRNA/shRNA) or by overexpression of a catalytically inactive mutant causes KRAS degradation, whereas overexpression of wild-type SMURF2 enhances KRAS stability. Importantly, mutant KRAS is more susceptible to SMURF2 loss where protein half-life decreases from >12 hours in control siRNA-treated cells to <3 hours on Smurf2 silencing, whereas only marginal differences were noted for wild-type protein. This loss of mutant KRAS could be rescued by overexpressing a siRNA-resistant wild-type SMURF2. Our data further show that SMURF2 monoubiquitinates UBCH5 at lysine 144 to form an active complex required for efficient degradation of a RAS-family E3, β-transducing repeat containing protein 1 (β-TrCP1). Conversely, β-TrCP1 is accumulated on SMURF2 loss, leading to increased KRAS degradation. Therefore, as expected, β-TrCP1 knockdown following Smurf2 siRNA treatment rescues mutant KRAS loss. Further, we identify two conserved proline (P) residues in UBCH5 critical for SMURF2 interaction; mutation of either of these P to alanine also destabilizes KRAS. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that Smurf2 silencing reduces the clonogenic survival in vitro and prolongs tumor latency in vivo in cancer cells including mutant KRAS-driven tumors. Taken together, we show that SMURF2:UBCH5 complex is critical in maintaining KRAS protein stability and propose that targeting such complex may be a unique strategy to degrade mutant KRAS to kill cancer cells.Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 02/2014; 16(2):115-IN5. · 5.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The HECT family ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 regulates cell polarity, migration, division, differentiation and death, by targeting diverse substrates that are critical for receptor signaling, cytoskeleton, chromatin remodeling and transcription. Recent studies suggest that Smurf2 functions as a tumor suppressor in mice. However, no inactivating mutation of SMURF2 has been reported in human, and information about Smurf2 expression in human cancer remains limited or complicated. Here we demonstrate that Smurf2 expression is downregulated in human breast cancer tissues, especially of the triple-negative subtype, and address the mechanism of Smurf2 downregulation in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Human breast cancer tissues (47 samples expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and 43 samples with triple-negative status) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of Smurf2. Ten widely-studied human breast cancer cell lines were examined for the expression of Smurf2. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated regulation of Smurf2 was investigated in triple-negative cancer cell lines. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that benign mammary epithelial cells expressed high levels of Smurf2, so did cells in ductal carcinomas in situ. In contrast, invasive ductal carcinomas showed focal or diffuse decrease in Smurf2 expression, which was observed more frequently in triple-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors. Consistently, human triple-negative breast cancer cell lines such as BT549, MDA-MB-436, DU-4475 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed significantly lower expression of Smurf2 protein, compared to ER + or HER2+ cell lines. Studies using quantitative PCR and specific microRNA inhibitors indicated that increased expression of miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16 and miR-128 was involved in Smurf2 downregulation in those triple-negative cancer cell lines, which have mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene. Forced expression of RB increased levels of Smurf2 protein with concomitant decreases in the expression of the microRNAs. This study provides evidence of posttranscriptional downregulation of Smurf2 in triple-negative breast cancers, and demonstrates that the loss of RB function is involved in microRNA-mediated interference with Smurf2 translation. The new link from RB inactivation to Smurf2 downregulation is likely to play a role in malignant phenotypes of triple-negative breast cancer cells.BMC Cancer 02/2014; 14(1):57. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Smad ubiquitin regulatory factor 2 (Smurf2) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates TGF-β/Smad signaling and is implicated in a wide variety of cellular responses, but the exact mechanisms that control Smurf2 abundance remain largely unknown. Here we identified microRNA-322 (miR-322) and miR-503 as novel factors that regulate Smurf2 expression posttranscriptionally. Both miR-322 and miR-503 interacted with Smurf2 mRNA via its 3'-untranslated region (UTR) and repressed Smurf2 translation but did not affect total Smurf2 mRNA levels. Studies using heterologous reporter constructs revealed a greater repressive effect of miR-322/503 through a single binding site in the Smurf2 3'-UTR, whereas point mutation of this site prevented miR-322/503-induced repression of Smurf2 translation. Increased levels of endogenous Smurf2 by antagonization of miR-322/503 inhibited TGF-β-induced Smad2 activation by increasing the degradation of phosphorylated Smad2. Furthermore, the increase in Smurf2 in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) expressing lower levels of miR-322/503 was associated with increased resistance to apoptosis, which was abolished by Smurf2 silencing. These findings indicate thatmiR-322/503 represses Smurf2 translation, in turn affecting intestinal epithelial homeostasis by altering TGF-β/Smad2 signaling and IEC apoptosis.Molecular biology of the cell 02/2014; · 5.98 Impact Factor