Article

Ubiquitin Ligase RNF146 Regulates Tankyrase and Axin to Promote Wnt Signaling

University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 07/2011; 6(7):e22595. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022595
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Canonical Wnt signaling is controlled intracellularly by the level of β-catenin protein, which is dependent on Axin scaffolding of a complex that phosphorylates β-catenin to target it for ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. This function of Axin is counteracted through relocalization of Axin protein to the Wnt receptor complex to allow for ligand-activated Wnt signaling. AXIN1 and AXIN2 protein levels are regulated by tankyrase-mediated poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARsylation), which destabilizes Axin and promotes signaling. Mechanistically, how tankyrase limits Axin protein accumulation, and how tankyrase levels and activity are regulated for this function, are currently under investigation. By RNAi screening, we identified the RNF146 RING-type ubiquitin E3 ligase as a positive regulator of Wnt signaling that operates with tankyrase to maintain low steady-state levels of Axin proteins. RNF146 also destabilizes tankyrases TNKS1 and TNKS2 proteins and, in a reciprocal relationship, tankyrase activity reduces RNF146 protein levels. We show that RNF146, tankyrase, and Axin form a protein complex, and that RNF146 mediates ubiquitylation of all three proteins to target them for proteasomal degradation. RNF146 is a cytoplasmic protein that also prevents tankyrase protein aggregation at a centrosomal location. Tankyrase auto-PARsylation and PARsylation of Axin is known to lead to proteasome-mediated degradation of these proteins, and we demonstrate that, through ubiquitylation, RNF146 mediates this process to regulate Wnt signaling.

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