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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Aug;27(16):5860-70. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

SCF E3-mediated autoubiquitination negatively regulates activity of Cdc34 E2 but plays a nonessential role in the catalytic cycle in vitro and in vivo.

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Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


One of the several still unexplained aspects of the mechanism by which the Cdc34/SCF RING-type ubiquitin ligases work is the marked stimulation of Cdc34 autoubiquitination, a phenomenon of unknown mechanism and significance. In in vitro experiments with single-lysine-containing Cdc34 mutant proteins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we found that the SCF-mediated stimulation of autoubiquitination is limited to specific N-terminal lysines modified via an intermolecular mechanism. In a striking contrast, SCF quenches autoubiquitination of C-terminal lysines catalyzed in an intramolecular manner. Unlike autoubiquitination of the C-terminal lysines, which has no functional consequence, autoubiquitination of the N-terminal lysines inhibits Cdc34. This autoinhibitory mechanism plays a nonessential role in the catalytic cycle, as the lysineless (K0)Cdc34(DeltaC) is indistinguishable from Cdc34(DeltaC) in ubiquitination of the prototype SCF(Cdc4) substrate Sic1 in vitro, and replacement of the CDC34 gene with either the (K0)cdc34(DeltaC) or the cdc34(DeltaC) allele in yeast has no cell cycle phenotype. We discuss the implications of these findings for the mechanism of Cdc34 function with SCF.

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