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J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 16;286(50):43465-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.222711. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

GRAIL (gene related to anergy in lymphocytes) regulates cytoskeletal reorganization through ubiquitination and degradation of Arp2/3 subunit 5 and coronin 1A.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.


Anergy is an important mechanism for the maintenance of peripheral tolerance and avoidance of autoimmunity. The up-regulation of E3 ubiqitin ligases, including GRAIL (gene related to anergy in lymphocytes), is a key event in the induction and preservation of anergy in T cells. However, the mechanisms of GRAIL-mediated anergy induction are still not completely understood. We examined which proteins serve as substrates for GRAIL in anergic T cells. Arp2/3-5 (actin-related protein 2/3 subunit 5) and coronin 1A were polyubiquitinated by GRAIL via Lys-48 and Lys-63 linkages. In anergic T cells and GRAIL-overexpressed T cells, the expression of Arp2/3-5 and coronin 1A was reduced. Furthermore, we demonstrated that GRAIL impaired lamellipodium formation and reduced the accumulation of F-actin at the immunological synapse. GRAIL functions via the ubiquitination and degradation of actin cytoskeleton-associated proteins, in particular Arp2/3-5 and coronin 1A. These data reveal that GRAIL regulates proteins involved in the actin cytoskeletal organization, thereby maintaining the unresponsive state of anergic T cells.

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