Zhongwei Cao

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (3)19.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms underlying epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor tyrosine kinase down-regulation in response to growth factor binding are coming into focus and involve cbl-mediated receptor ubiquitination followed by lysosomal degradation. However, mechanisms underlying the ligand-stimulated degradation of the related receptor tyrosine kinases of the ErbB family do not involve cbl and remain unexplored. Previous studies have demonstrated that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1 contributes to the maintenance of steady-state ErbB3 levels by mediating its growth factor-independent degradation. Here we demonstrate that treatment of cells with the ErbB3 ligand neuregulin-1 (NRG1) stabilizes the deubiquitinating enzyme USP8, which in turn stabilizes Nrdp1. The catalytic activity of USP8 is required for NRG1-induced Nrdp1 stabilization. We provide evidence that Akt-mediated phosphorylation of USP8 threonine residue T907 contributes to USP8 stability. Finally, we demonstrate that Nrdp1 or USP8 knockdown suppresses NRG1-induced ErbB3 ubiquitination and degradation in MCF7 breast cancer cells. We conclude that an NRG1-induced protein stability cascade involving USP8 and Nrdp1 mediates the down-regulation of ErbB3. Our observations raise the possibility that the ligand-induced augmentation of pathways involved in the maintenance of basal levels of receptor tyrosine kinases can contribute to ligand-stimulated down-regulation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 04/2007; 27(6):2180-8. DOI:10.1128/MCB.01245-06 · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases is thought to promote mammary tumor progression by stimulating tumor cell growth and invasion. Overexpression and aberrant activation of ErbB2/HER2 confer aggressive and malignant characteristics to breast cancer cells, and patients displaying ErbB2-amplified breast cancer face a worsened prognosis. Recent studies have established that ErbB2 and ErbB3 are commonly co-overexpressed in breast tumor cell lines and in patient samples. ErbB2 heterodimerizes with and activates the ErbB3 receptor, and the two receptors synergize in promoting growth factor-induced cell proliferation, transformation, and invasiveness. Our previous studies have shown that the neuregulin receptor degradation protein-1 (Nrdp1) E3 ubiquitin ligase specifically suppresses cellular ErbB3 levels by marking the receptor for proteolytic degradation. Here, we show that overexpression of Nrdp1 in human breast cancer cells results in the suppression of ErbB3 levels, accompanied by the inhibition of cell growth and motility and the attenuation of signal transduction pathways. In contrast, either Nrdp1 knockdown or the overexpression of a dominant-negative form enhances ErbB3 levels and cellular proliferation. Additionally, Nrdp1 expression levels inversely correlate with ErbB3 levels in primary human breast cancer tissue and in a mouse model of ErbB2 mammary tumorigenesis. Our observations suggest that Nrdp1-mediated ErbB3 degradation suppresses cellular growth and motility, and that Nrdp1 loss in breast tumors may promote tumor progression by augmenting ErbB2/ErbB3 signaling.
    Cancer Research 01/2007; 66(23):11279-86. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-2319 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mice deficient in 14-3-3epsilon exhibit abnormal neuronal migration and die perinatally. We report here the first large-scale analysis of 14-3-3 interacting partners from primary animal tissue, identifying from embryonic murine brain 163 14-3-3epsilon interacting proteins and 85 phosphorylation sites on these proteins. Phosphorylation of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP8 at serine 680 was found essential for its interaction with 14-3-3epsilon and for maintaining USP8 in the cytosol.
    Journal of Proteome Research 10/2006; 5(9):2372-9. DOI:10.1021/pr060206k · 5.00 Impact Factor