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The ubiquitin-specific protease USP8 deubiquitinates and stabilizes Cx43.

The ubiquitin-specific protease USP8 deubiquitinates and stabilizes Cx43.
Author Information (click to view)

Sun J, Hu Q, Peng H, Peng C, Zhou L, Lu J, Huang C,


Sun J, Hu Q, Peng H, Peng C, Zhou L, Lu J, Huang C, (click to view)

Sun J, Hu Q, Peng H, Peng C, Zhou L, Lu J, Huang C,

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The Journal of biological chemistry 2018 04 06() pii jbc.RA117.001315
Abstract

Connexin 43 (Cx43, also known as GJA1), is the most ubiquitously expressed connexin isoform in mammalian tissues. It forms intercellular gap junction (GJ) channels, enabling adjacent cells to communicate both electrically and metabolically. Cx43 is a short-lived protein which can be quickly degraded by the ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal, endolysosomal and autophagosomal pathways. Here, we report that the ubiquitin-specific peptidase 8 (USP8) interacts with and deubiquitinates Cx43. USP8 reduces both multiple monoubiquitination and polyubiquitination of Cx43 to prevent autophagy-mediated degradation. Consistently, knockdown of USP8 results in decreased Cx43 protein levels in cultured cells and suppresses intercellular communication, revealed by the dye transfer assay. In human breast cancer specimens, the expression levels of USP8 and Cx43 proteins are positively correlated. Taken together, these results identified USP8 as a crucial and bono fide deubiquitinating enzyme involved in autophagy-mediated degradation of Cx43.

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