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Cell. 2004 Nov 12;119(4):517-28.

Structure of the Cand1-Cul1-Roc1 complex reveals regulatory mechanisms for the assembly of the multisubunit cullin-dependent ubiquitin ligases.

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Department of Pharmacology, Box 357280, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


The SCF ubiquitin ligase complex regulates diverse cellular functions by ubiquitinating numerous protein substrates. Cand1, a 120 kDa HEAT repeat protein, forms a tight complex with the Cul1-Roc1 SCF catalytic core, inhibiting the assembly of the multisubunit E3 complex. The crystal structure of the Cand1-Cul1-Roc1 complex shows that Cand1 adopts a highly sinuous superhelical structure, clamping around the elongated SCF scaffold protein Cul1. At one end, a Cand1 beta hairpin protrusion partially occupies the adaptor binding site on Cul1, inhibiting its interactions with the Skp1 adaptor and the substrate-recruiting F box protein subunits. At the other end, two Cand1 HEAT repeats pack against a conserved Cul1 surface cleft and bury a Cul1 lysine residue, whose modification by the ubiquitin-like protein, Nedd8, is able to block Cand1-Cul1 association. Together with biochemical evidence, these structural results elucidate the mechanisms by which Cand1 and Nedd8 regulate the assembly-disassembly cycles of SCF and other cullin-dependent E3 complexes.

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