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Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Aug;24(16):2582-92. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E13-03-0144. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

The PI3K/Akt1 pathway enhances steady-state levels of FANCL.

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Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Fanconi anemia hematopoietic stem cells display poor self-renewal capacity when subjected to a variety of cellular stress. This phenotype raises the question of whether the Fanconi anemia proteins are stabilized or recruited as part of a stress response and protect against stem cell loss. Here we provide evidence that FANCL, the E3 ubiquitin ligase of the Fanconi anemia pathway, is constitutively targeted for degradation by the proteasome. We confirm biochemically that FANCL is polyubiquitinated with Lys-48-linked chains. Evaluation of a series of N-terminal-deletion mutants showed that FANCL's E2-like fold may direct ubiquitination. In addition, our studies showed that FANCL is stabilized in a complex with axin1 when glycogen synthase kinase-3β is overexpressed. This result leads us to investigate the potential regulation of FANCL by upstream signaling pathways known to regulate glycogen synthase kinase-3β. We report that constitutively active, myristoylated-Akt increases FANCL protein level by reducing polyubiquitination of FANCL. Two-dimensional PAGE analysis shows that acidic forms of FANCL, some of which are phospho-FANCL, are not subject to polyubiquitination. These results indicate that a signal transduction pathway involved in self-renewal and survival of hematopoietic stem cells also functions to stabilize FANCL and suggests that FANCL participates directly in support of stem cell function.

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