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      The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein is a component of an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase activity.

      Genes & development

      Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, Cell Extracts, DNA Primers, Genes, Tumor Suppressor, Humans, Kidney Neoplasms, metabolism, Ligases, genetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Precipitin Tests, Proteins, Recombinant Proteins, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Tumor Suppressor Proteins, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases, Ubiquitins, Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein

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          pVHL, the product of the VHL tumor suppressor gene, plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation of human kidney cells, and inactivation of the VHL gene is the most frequent genetic event in human kidney cancer. The biochemical function of pVHL is unknown. Here we report that pVHL exists in vivo in a complex that displays ubiquitination-promoting activity in conjunction with the universally required components E1, E2, and ubiquitin. pVHL-associated ubiquitination activity requires, at a minimum, pVHL to bind elongin C and Cul-2, relatives of core components of SCF (Skp1-Cdc53/Cul-1-F-box protein) E3 ligase complexes. Notably, certain tumor-derived mutants of pVHL demonstrate loss of associated ubiquitination promoting activity. These results identify pVHL as a component of a potential SCF-like E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase complex and suggest a direct link between pVHL tumor suppressor and the process of ubiquitination.

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