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Cell Death Differ. 2009 Aug;16(8):1156-66. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.31. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

E6AP promotes the degradation of the PML tumor suppressor.

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  • 1Lautenberg Center for General and Tumour Immunology, The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) tumor suppressor is essential for the formation of PML nuclear bodies (NBs). PML and PML-NBs have been implicated in the regulation of growth inhibition, senescence and apoptosis. PML is activated in response to stress signals and is downregulated in certain human cancers. However, the factors mediating PML stability are incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that a catalytically active form of the mammalian E3 ligase E6AP (HPV E6-associated protein) acts to reduce the half-life of the PML protein by promoting its degradation in the proteasome. E6AP mediates the ubiquitination of PML in an in vitro ubiquitination assay. E6AP and PML interact at physiological levels and colocalize in PML-NBs. Importantly, PML protein expression is elevated in multiple organs and cell types from E6AP null mice and in lymphoid cells is associated with increased number and intensity of PML-NBs. This PML elevation is enhanced in response to DNA damage. Our results identify E6AP as an important regulator of PML and PML-NBs.

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