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Mol Cell. 2007 Jun 22;26(6):843-52.

Ubiquitin-independent degradation of cell-cycle inhibitors by the REGgamma proteasome.

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Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The cell-cycle regulator p21(Cip1) is degraded by proteasomes independently of ubiquitination. We now show that degradation of p21 in vivo does not require the 19S proteasome lid, which contains the ubiquitin-binding subunit. Instead, the major proteasomal pathway for p21 degradation involves an alternative proteasome lid, the REGgamma complex. REGgamma binds to p21 in vivo, and deletion of p21's REGgamma-binding site greatly extends its half-life. Knockdown of REGgamma by RNA interference stabilizes p21, p21 has a significantly extended half-life in REGgamma(-/-) murine embryonic fibroblasts, and the p21 abundance is elevated in REGgamma(-/-) mice. The role of REGgamma in cell-cycle regulation may extend beyond p21 regulation, because p16(INK4A) and p19(Arf) also bind to REGgamma and are stabilized in REGgamma-deficient cells.

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