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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 20;277(38):35071-9. Epub 2002 Jul 16.

Staring, a novel E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase that targets syntaxin 1 for degradation.

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Department of Pharmacology, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322-3090, USA.


Syntaxin 1 is an essential component of the neurotransmitter release machinery, and regulation of syntaxin 1 expression levels is thought to contribute to the mechanism underlying learning and memory. However, the molecular events that control the degradation of syntaxin 1 remain undefined. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel RING finger protein, Staring, that interacts with syntaxin 1. Staring is expressed throughout the brain, where it exists in both cytosolic and membrane-associated pools. Staring binds and recruits the brain-enriched E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UbcH8 to syntaxin 1 and facilitates the ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation of syntaxin 1. These findings suggest that Staring is a novel E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase that targets syntaxin 1 for degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.

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