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Characterization of the Human SCF Ubiquitin Ligases - Structure, Function, and Regulation


Lyapina, Svetlana Anatol'Evna (2001) Characterization of the Human SCF Ubiquitin Ligases - Structure, Function, and Regulation. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/apdy-3d30.


The SCF ubiquitin ligase complex of budding yeast triggers DNA replication by cata lyzi ng ubiquitination of the S phase CDK inhibitor SIC1. SCF is composed of several evolutionarily conserved proteins, including ySKP1, CDC53 (Cullin), and the F-box protein CDC4. We isolated hSKP1 in a two-hybrid screen with hCUL1, the human homologue of CDC53. We showed that hCUL1 associates with hSKP1 in vivo and directly interacts with hSKP1 and the human F-box protein SKP2 in vitro, forming an SCF-Iike particle. Moreover, hCUL1 complements the growth defect of yeast CDC53^(ts) mutants, associates with ubiquitination-promoting activity in human cell extracts, and can assemble into functional, chimeric ubiquitin ligase complexes with yeast SCF components. These data demonstrated that hCUL1 functions as part of an SCF ubiquitin ligase complex in human cells. However, purified human SCF complexes consisting of CUL1, SKP1, and SKP2 are inactive in vitro, suggesting that additional factors are required.

Subsequently, mammalian SCF ubiquitin ligases were shown to regulate various physiological processes by targeting important cellular regulators, like lĸBα, β-catenin, and p27, for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis by the 26S proteasome. Little, however, is known about the regulation of various SCF complexes. By using sequential immunoaffinity purification and mass spectrometry, we identified proteins that interact with human SCF components SKP2 and CUL1 in vivo. Among them we identified two additional SCF subunits: HRT1, present in all SCF complexes, and CKS1, that binds to SKP2 and is likely to be a subunit of SCF5^(SKP2) complexes. Subsequent work by others demonstrated that these proteins are essential for SCF activity. We also discovered that COP9 Signalosome (CSN), previously described in plants as a suppressor of photomorphogenesis, associates with CUL1 and other SCF subunits in vivo. This interaction is evolutionarily conserved and is also observed with other Cullins, suggesting that all Cullin based ubiquitin ligases are regulated by CSN. CSN regulates Cullin Neddylation presumably through CSNS/JAB1, a stochiometric Signalosome subunit and a putative deneddylating enzyme. This work sheds light onto an intricate connection that exists between signal transduction pathways and protein degradation machinery inside the cell and sets stage for gaining further insights into regulation of protein degradation.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Biology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Dunphy, William G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Deshaies, Raymond Joseph (chair)
  • Campbell, Judith L.
  • Dunphy, William G.
  • Varshavsky, Alexander J.
  • Wold, Barbara J.
Defense Date:30 January 2001
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03072014-090536401
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8114
Deposited On:07 Mar 2014 17:55
Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 20:20

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