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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 May 27;409(1):70-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.04.107. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Monoubiquitination of Tob/BTG family proteins competes with degradation-targeting polyubiquitination.

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  • 1Division of Oncology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Japan.


Tob belongs to the anti-proliferative Tob/BTG protein family. The expression level of Tob family proteins is strictly regulated both transcriptionally and through post-translational modification. Ubiquitin (Ub)/proteosome-dependent degradation of Tob family proteins is critical in controlling cell cycle progression and DNA damage responses. Various Ub ligases (E3s) are responsible for degradation of Tob protein. Here, we show that Tob family proteins undergo monoubiquitination even in the absence of E3s in vitro. Determination of the ubiquitination site(s) in Tob by mass spectrometric analysis revealed that two lysine residues (Lys48 and Lys63) located in Tob/BTG homology domain are ubiquitinated. A mutant Tob, in which both Lys48 and Lys63 are substituted with alanine, is more strongly polyubiquitinated than wild-type Tob in vivo. These data suggest that monoubiquitination of Tob family proteins confers resistance against polyubiquitination, which targets proteins for degradation. The strategy for regulating the stability of Tob family proteins suggests a novel role for monoubiquitination.

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