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EMBO J. 2006 Feb 8;25(3):554-64. Epub 2006 Jan 19.

A novel ubiquitin-binding protein ZNF216 functioning in muscle atrophy.

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Department of Bone & Joint Disease, National Center for Geriatrics & Gerontology, Obu, Aichi, Japan.


The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is critical for specific degradation of cellular proteins and plays a pivotal role on protein breakdown in muscle atrophy. Here, we show that ZNF216 directly binds polyubiquitin chains through its N-terminal A20-type zinc-finger domain and associates with the 26S proteasome. ZNF216 was colocalized with the aggresome, which contains ubiquitinylated proteins and other UPS components. Expression of Znf216 was increased in both denervation- and fasting-induced muscle atrophy and upregulated by expression of constitutively active FOXO, a master regulator of muscle atrophy. Mice deficient in Znf216 exhibited resistance to denervation-induced atrophy, and ubiquitinylated proteins markedly accumulated in neurectomized muscle compared to wild-type mice. These data suggest that ZNF216 functions in protein degradation via the UPS and plays a crucial role in muscle atrophy.

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