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J Biol Chem. 1999 Oct 22;274(43):30963-8.

The ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes UbcH7 and UbcH8 interact with RING finger/IBR motif-containing domains of HHARI and H7-AP1.

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Molecular Medicine Unit, University of Leeds, Clinical Sciences Building, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom.


Ubiquitinylation of proteins appears to be mediated by the specific interplay between ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) and ubiquitin-protein ligases (E3s). However, cognate E3s and/or substrate proteins have been identified for only a few E2s. To identify proteins that can interact with the human E2 UbcH7, a yeast two-hybrid screen was performed. Two proteins were identified and termed human homologue of Drosophila ariadne (HHARI) and UbcH7-associated protein (H7-AP1). Both proteins, which are widely expressed, are characterized by the presence of RING finger and in between RING fingers (IBR) domains. No other overt structural similarity was observed between the two proteins. In vitro binding studies revealed that an N-terminal RING finger motif (HHARI) and the IBR domain (HHARI and H7-AP1) are involved in the interaction of these proteins with UbcH7. Furthermore, binding of these two proteins to UbcH7 is specific insofar that both HHARI and H7-AP1 can bind to the closely related E2, UbcH8, but not to the unrelated E2s UbcH5 and UbcH1. Although it is not clear at present whether HHARI and H7-AP1 serve, for instance, as substrates for UbcH7 or represent proteins with E3 activity, our data suggests that a subset of RING finger/IBR proteins are functionally linked to the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway.

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