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FEBS Lett. 2005 Oct 24;579(25):5603-8. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

BH3-ligand regulates access of MCL-1 to its E3 ligase.

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Department of Biochemistry, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, McGill University, Montréal, Que., Canada.


A genome wide search for new BH3-containing Bcl-2 family members was conducted using position weight matrices (PWM) and identified a large (480kDa), novel BH3-only protein, originally called LASU1 (now also known as Ureb-1, E3(histone), ARF-BP1, and Mule). We demonstrated that LASU1 is an E3 ligase that ubiquitinated Mcl-1 in vitro and was required for its proteasome-dependent degradation in HeLa cells. Of note, the BH3 domain of LASU1 interacted with Mcl-1 but not with Bcl-2 or Bcl-Xl. A competing BH3-ligand derived from Bim interacted with Mcl-1 and prevented its interaction with LASU1 in HeLa cells, causing elevation of the steady-state levels of Mcl-1. This suggests that the unliganded form of Mcl-1 is sensitive to LASU1-mediated degradation of Mcl-1.

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