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J Mol Biol. 2008 Feb 15;376(2):526-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2007.11.092. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Molecular basis for the unique deubiquitinating activity of the NF-kappaB inhibitor A20.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Abstract

Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation in tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and Toll-like receptor pathways requires Lys63-linked nondegradative polyubiquitination. A20 is a specific feedback inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation in these pathways that possesses dual ubiquitin-editing functions. While the N-terminal domain of A20 is a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) for Lys63-linked polyubiquitinated signaling mediators such as TRAF6 and RIP, its C-terminal domain is a ubiquitin ligase (E3) for Lys48-linked degradative polyubiquitination of the same substrates. To elucidate the molecular basis for the DUB activity of A20, we determined its crystal structure and performed a series of biochemical and cell biological studies. The structure reveals the potential catalytic mechanism of A20, which may be significantly different from papain-like cysteine proteases. Ubiquitin can be docked onto a conserved A20 surface; this interaction exhibits charge complementarity and no steric clash. Surprisingly, A20 does not have specificity for Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains. Instead, it effectively removes Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains from TRAF6 without dissembling the chains themselves. Our studies suggest that A20 does not act as a general DUB but has the specificity for particular polyubiquitinated substrates to assure its fidelity in regulating NF-kappaB activation in the tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and Toll-like receptor pathways.

PMID:
18164316
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2346432
Free PMC Article

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