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Cell Cycle. 2005 Oct;4(10):1421-7. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

The acidic tail domain of human Cdc34 is required for p27Kip1 ubiquitination and complementation of a cdc34 temperature sensitive yeast strain.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA.


Human Cdc34 is an ubiquitin conjugating enzyme or E2 that ubiquitinates substrates including p27(Kip1), IkappaBalpha, Wee1, and MyoD. Cdc34 possesses a core catalytic domain encoding the active site cysteine and an acidic tail domain within the carboxyl terminal 36 amino acids. Studies suggest that Cdc34 is phosphorylated in mammalian cells at 5 potential residues within the tail domain. In order to study the biological significance of the Cdc34 acidic tail domain and the possible significance of phosphorylation within this region, we tested the ability of human Cdc34 mutants to complement the cdc34-2 temperature sensitive (ts) strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our studies indicated that complementation of the cdc34-2 ts strain was critically dependent upon the carboxyl-terminal 36 amino acids of human Cdc34, but did not require phosphorylation of human Cdc34 residues S203, S222, S231, T233, and S236. Further studies demonstrated that although a Cdc34 mutant bearing a deletion of the C-terminal 36 amino acids (Cdc34 1-200) was efficiently charged with ubiquitin by E1, it was severely reduced for the ability to ubiquitinate p27(Kip1) in vitro compared to wildtype Cdc34. Both in vivo and in vitro binding studies indicated that Cdc34 1-200 bound to the E3-SCF components, Cul1 and Roc1, at levels comparable to the wildtype Cdc34. These studies suggest that the 36 amino acid acidic tail domain of human Cdc34 is critical for its ability to transfer ubiquitin to a substrate and is dispensable for the association of Cdc34 with Cul1 and Roc1. We postulate that the tail domain of Cdc34 may be important for its efficient dissociation from Cul1 and Roc1, an essential requirement for ubiquitination by the budding yeast Cdc34p, or it may be required more directly for ubiquitin transfer to the substrate.

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