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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 28; 92(7): 2563–2567.

A family of proteins structurally and functionally related to the E6-AP ubiquitin-protein ligase.


E6-AP is a 100-kDa cellular protein that interacts with the E6 protein of the cancer-associated human papillomavirus types 16 and 18. The E6/E6-AP complex binds to and targets the p53 tumor-suppressor protein for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. E6-AP is an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase which accepts ubiquitin from an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme in the form of a thioester and then directly transfers the ubiquitin to targeted substrates. The amino acid sequence of E6-AP shows similarity to a number of protein sequences over an approximately 350-aa region corresponding to the carboxyl termini of both E6-AP and the E6-AP-related proteins. Of particular note is a conserved cysteine residue within the last 32-34 aa, which in E6-AP is likely to be the site of ubiquitin thioester formation. Two of the E6-AP-related proteins, a rat 100-kDa protein and a yeast 95-kDa protein (RSP5), both of previously unknown function, are shown here to form thioesters with ubiquitin. Mutation of the conserved cysteine residue of these proteins destroys their ability to accept ubiquitin. These data strongly suggest that the rat 100-kDa protein and RSP5, as well as the other E6-AP-related proteins, belong to a class of functionally related E3 ubiquitin-protein ligases, defined by a domain homologous to the E6-AP carboxyl terminus (hect domain).

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Selected References

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