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J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 23;277(34):30746-53. Epub 2002 Jun 18.

A ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM) is essential for Eps15 and Eps15R ubiquitination.

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Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biomembranes, Universiteit Utrecht, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


An important negative control mechanism in the signaling of epidermal growth factor (EGF) is the endocytosis and subsequent degradation of activated EGF receptors. Eps15 and its related partner Eps15R play a key role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis of transmembrane receptors. Upon EGF stimulation of the cell, Eps15 becomes both phosphorylated on tyrosine residues and monoubiquitinated. Although tyrosine phosphorylation of Eps15 has been implicated in EGF receptor internalization, the function of Eps15 ubiquitination is not known. Using a mutational approach, we have found that the second ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM) of Eps15 and Eps15R is essential for their ubiquitination. This UIM partially overlaps with the recently characterized nuclear export signal in Eps15. We show that these two overlapping motifs have different structural requirements with respect to nuclear export signal versus ubiquitination signal activity. Our data demonstrate that the UIM does not contain the ubiquitin acceptor site but functions as a recruitment site for the ubiquitination machinery leading to the monoubiquitination of both Eps15 and Eps15R.

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