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Cell Rep. 2012 Sep 27;2(3):616-27. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.08.019. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Structural basis for a reciprocal regulation between SCF and CSN.

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ETH-Zurich, Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Biology, Zurich, Switzerland.


Skp1-Cul1-Fbox (SCF) E3 ligases are activated by ligation to the ubiquitin-like protein Nedd8, which is reversed by the deneddylating Cop9 signalosome (CSN). However, CSN also promotes SCF substrate turnover through unknown mechanisms. Through biochemical and electron microscopy analyses, we determined molecular models of CSN complexes with SCF(Skp2/Cks1) and SCF(Fbw7) and found that CSN occludes both SCF functional sites-the catalytic Rbx1-Cul1 C-terminal domain and the substrate receptor. Indeed, CSN binding prevents SCF interactions with E2 enzymes and a ubiquitination substrate, and it inhibits SCF-catalyzed ubiquitin chain formation independent of deneddylation. Importantly, CSN prevents neddylation of the bound cullin, unless binding of a ubiquitination substrate triggers SCF dissociation and neddylation. Taken together, the results provide a model for how reciprocal regulation sensitizes CSN to the SCF assembly state and inhibits a catalytically competent SCF until a ubiquitination substrate drives its own degradation by displacing CSN, thereby promoting cullin neddylation and substrate ubiquitination.

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