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The E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3C enhances proteasome processivity by ubiquitinating partially proteolyzed substrates

Chu, Bernard W; Kovary, Kyle M; Guillaume, Johan; Chen, Ling-chun; Teruel, Mary N; Wandless, Thomas J
To maintain protein homeostasis, cells must balance protein synthesis with protein degradation. Accumulation of misfolded or partially degraded proteins can lead to the formation of pathological protein aggregates. Here we report the use of destabilizing domains, proteins whose folding state can be reversibly tuned using a high affinity ligand, as model substrates to interrogate cellular protein quality control mechanisms in mammalian cells using a forward genetic screen. Upon knockdown of UBE3C, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, a reporter protein consisting of a destabilizing domain fused to GFP is degraded more slowly and incompletely by the proteasome. Partial proteolysis is also observed when UBE3C is present but cannot ubiquitinate substrates because its active site has been mutated, it is unable to bind to the proteasome, or the substrate lacks lysine residues. UBE3C knockdown also results in less substrate polyubiquitination. Finally, knockdown renders cells more susceptible to the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-AAG, suggesting that UBE3C protects against the harmful accumulation of protein fragments arising from incompletely degraded proteasome substrates.
PMID: 24158444
ISSN: 1083-351x
CID: 5264442

Site-specific inter-strand cross-links of DNA duplexes

Ye, Miao; Guillaume, Johan; Liu, Yu; Sha, Ruojie; Wang, Risheng; Seeman, Nadrian C; Canary, James W
We report the development of technology that allows inter-strand coupling across various positions within one turn of DNA. Four 2'-modified nucleotides were synthesized as protected phosphoramidites and incorporated into DNA oligonucleotides. The modified nucleotides contain either 5-atom or 16-atom linker components, with either amine or carboxylic acid functional groups at their termini, forming 10 or 32 atom (11 or 33 bond) linkages. Chemical coupling of the amine and carboxylate groups in designed strands resulted in the formation of an amide bond. Coupling efficiency as a function of trajectory distance between the individual linker components was examined. For those nucleotides capable of forming inter-strand cross-links (ICLs), coupling yields were found to depend on temperature, distance, and linker length, enabling several approaches that can control regioselective linkage. In the most favorable cases, the coupling yields are quantitative. Spectroscopic measurements of strands that were chemically cross-linked indicate that the global structure of the DNA duplex does not appear to be distorted from the B form after coupling. Thermal denaturing profiles of those strands were shifted to somewhat higher temperatures than those of their respective control duplexes. Thus, the robust amide ICLs formed by this approach are site-specific, do not destabilize the rest of the duplex, and only minimally perturb the secondary structure.
PMID: 23894693
ISSN: 2041-6520
CID: 2068532

Coupling across a DNA helical turn yields a hybrid DNA/organic catenane doubly tailed with functional termini

Liu, Yu; Kuzuya, Akinori; Sha, Ruojie; Guillaume, Johan; Wang, Risheng; Canary, James W; Seeman, Nadrian C
We describe the synthesis of a hybrid DNA/organic macrocycle that is prepared by formation of an amide linkage across one full turn of DNA. Formation of a catenane proved that the linkage crossed a turn rather than running along the phosphodiester backbone contour. The product, a doubly tailed catenane, contains 5'- and 3'-termini that can be functionalized further or used to incorporate the catenane structure into other DNA assemblies.
PMID: 18661989
ISSN: 1520-5126
CID: 2068652