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J Virol. 2005 Sep;79(18):11824-36.

Inhibition of ubiquitination and stabilization of human ubiquitin E3 ligase PIRH2 by measles virus phosphoprotein.

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Immunité & Infections Virales, CNRS--Univ-Lyon 1 UMR 5537, IFR Laennec, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France.


Using a C-terminal domain (PCT) of the measles virus (MV) phosphoprotein (P protein) as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen, a cDNA identical to the recently described human p53-induced-RING-H2 (hPIRH2) cDNA was isolated. A glutathione S-transferase-hPIRH2 fusion protein expressed in bacteria was able to pull down P protein when mixed with an extract from P-expressing HeLa cells in vitro, and myc-tagged hPIRH2 could be reciprocally co-immunoprecipitated with MV P protein from human cells. Additionally, immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that hPIRH2-myc, MV P, and nucleocapsid (N) proteins form a ternary complex. The hPIRH2 binding site was mapped to the C-terminal X domain region of the P protein by using a yeast two-hybrid assay. The PCT binding site was mapped on hPIRH2 by using a novel yeast two-hybrid tagged PCR approach and by co-immunoprecipitation of hPIRH2 cysteine mutants and mouse/human PIRH2 chimeras. The hPIRH2 C terminus could mediate the interaction with MV P which was favored by the RING-H2 motif. When coexpressed with an enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged hPIRH2 protein, MV P alone or in a complex with MV N was able to redistribute hPIRH2 to outside the nucleus, within intracellular aggregates. Finally, MV P efficiently stabilized hPIRH2-myc expression and prevented its ubiquitination in vivo but had no effect on the stability or ubiquitination of an alternative ubiquitin E3 ligase, Mdm2. Thus, MV P protein is the first protein from a pathogen that is able to specifically interact with and stabilize the ubiquitin E3 ligase hPIRH2 by preventing its ubiquitination.

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