Hetero-oligomerization with MdmX rescues the ubiquitin/Nedd8 ligase activity of RING finger mutants of Mdm2.

Mdm2 is a member of the RING finger family of ubiquitin ligases and is best known for its role in targeting the tumor suppressor p53 for ubiquitination and degradation. Mdm2 can bind to itself and to the structurally related protein MdmX, and these interactions involve the RING finger domain of ...
Mdm2 and MdmX, respectively. In this study, we performed a mutational analysis of the RING finger domain of Mdm2, and we identified several amino acid residues that are important for Mdm2 to exert its ubiquitin ligase function. Mutation of some of these residues interfered with the Mdm2-Mdm2 interaction indicating that a homomeric complex represents the active form of Mdm2. Mutation of other residues did not detectably affect the ability of Mdm2 to interact with itself but reduced the ability of Mdm2 to interact with UbcH5. Remarkably, MdmX efficiently rescued the ubiquitin ligase activity of the latter Mdm2 mutants in vitro and within cells. Because the interaction of Mdm2 with MdmX is more stable than the Mdm2-Mdm2 interaction, this suggests that Mdm2-MdmX complexes play a prominent role in p53 ubiquitination in vivo. Furthermore, we show that, similar to Mdm2, the Mdm2-MdmX complex has Nedd8 ligase activity and that all mutations that affect the ubiquitin ligase activity of Mdm2 also affect its Nedd8 ligase activity. From a mechanistic perspective, this suggests that the actual function of Mdm2 and Mdm2-MdmX, respectively, in p53 ubiquitination and in p53 neddylation is similar for both processes.
Mesh Terms:
Amino Acid Motifs, Cell Line, Humans, Mutation, Nuclear Proteins, Protein Binding, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases, Ubiquitins
J. Biol. Chem.
Date: Apr. 13, 2007
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