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      Ubiquitination of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DM by Different Membrane-associated RING-CH (MARCH) Protein Family E3 Ligases Targets Different Endocytic Pathways*


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          Background: HLA-DM plays an essential role in MHC class II antigen presentation.

          Results: MARCH family E3 ligases regulate HLA-DM trafficking by direct ubiquitination of DMα and indirectly through a tyrosine-based targeting signal.

          Conclusion: Ubiquitination is a common mechanism regulating both classical and nonclassical MHC molecules.

          Significance: HLA-DM activity can be controlled post-translationally allowing the immune system to adapt to different conditions.


          HLA-DM plays an essential role in the peptide loading of classical class II molecules and is present both at the cell surface and in late endosomal peptide-loading compartments. Trafficking of DM within antigen-presenting cells is complex and is, in part, controlled by a tyrosine-based targeting signal present in the cytoplasmic tail of DMβ. Here, we show that DM also undergoes post-translational modification through ubiquitination of a single lysine residue present in the cytoplasmic tail of the α chain, DMα. Ubiquitination of DM by MARCH1 and MARCH9 induced loss of DM molecules from the cell surface by a mechanism that cumulatively involved both direct attachment of ubiquitin chains to DMα and a functional tyrosine-based signal on DMβ. In contrast, MARCH8-induced loss of surface DM was entirely dependent upon the tyrosine signal on DMβ. In the absence of this tyrosine residue, levels of DM remained unchanged irrespective of whether DMα was ubiquitinated by MARCH8. The influence of MARCH8 was indirect and may have resulted from modification of components of the endocytic machinery by ubiquitination.

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          Most cited references45

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          The ESCRT machinery in endosomal sorting of ubiquitylated membrane proteins.

          Selective trafficking of membrane proteins to lysosomes for destruction is required for proper cell signalling and metabolism. Ubiquitylation aids this process by specifying which proteins should be transported to the lysosome lumen by the multivesicular endosome pathway. The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery sorts cargo labelled with ubiquitin into invaginations of endosome membranes. Then, through a highly conserved mechanism also used in cytokinesis and viral budding, it mediates the breaking off of the cargo-containing intraluminal vesicles from the perimeter membrane. The involvement of the ESCRT machinery in suppressing diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and infections underscores its importance to the cell.
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            Ubiquitination on nonlysine residues by a viral E3 ubiquitin ligase.

            Ubiquitination controls a broad range of cellular functions. The last step of the ubiquitination pathway is regulated by enzyme type 3 (E3) ubiquitin ligases. E3 enzymes are responsible for substrate specificity and catalyze the formation of an isopeptide bond between a lysine residue of the substrate (or the N terminus of the substrate) and ubiquitin. MIR1 and MIR2 are two E3 ubiquitin ligases encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus that mediate the ubiquitination of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules and subsequent internalization. Here, we found that MIR1, but not MIR2, promoted down-regulation of MHC I molecules lacking lysine residues in their intracytoplasmic domain. In the presence of MIR1, these MHC I molecules were ubiquitinated, and their association with ubiquitin was sensitive to beta2-mercaptoethanol, unlike lysine-ubiquitin bonds. This form of ubiquitination required a cysteine residue in the intracytoplasmic tail of MHC I molecules. An MHC I molecule containing a single cysteine residue in an artificial glycine and alanine intracytoplasmic domain was endocytosed and degraded in the presence of MIR1. Thus, ubiquitination can occur on proteins lacking accessible lysines or an accessible N terminus.
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              A cost effective non-commercial ECL-solution for Western blot detections yielding strong signals and low background.

              We compared several alternative ECL solutions for Western blot detection of endogenous proteins in whole cell lysates using inexpensive, commercially available reagents. Starting from an existing protocol based on p-coumaric acid (pCA) as enhancer, we found that the ECL solution containing 4-iodophenylboronic acid (4IPBA) generated strong specific signals and low background chemiluminescence. We optimised the luminol, 4IPBA and hydrogenperoxide concentrations of this 4IPBA-ECL solution. The optimised 4IPBA-ECL solution (100 mM Tris/HCl pH 8.8, 1.25 mM luminol, 2 mM 4IPBA, 5.3 mM hydrogenperoxide) shows a greatly increased signal intensity compared to the initial pCA-ECL protocol and to some commercially available ECL solutions. In addition, the optimised 4IPBA-ECL solution also generates much lower background chemiluminescence than other non-commercial ECL solutions using p-coumaric acid or 4-iodophenol as enhancers. The 4IPBA-ECL solution was stable when stored but had the lowest background when prepared freshly from stock solutions. Thus, we present an optimised protocol for a well-performing inexpensive ECL solution which is an alternative to expensive commercial ECL solutions and which achieves a better signal and lower background than the commercial solutions tested.

                Author and article information

                J Biol Chem
                The Journal of Biological Chemistry
                American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814, U.S.A. )
                2 March 2012
                13 January 2012
                13 January 2012
                : 287
                : 10
                : 7256-7264
                [1]From the Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QP, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [1 ] To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: 44-1223-333591; Fax: 44-1223-333875; E-mail: apk23@ 123456mole.bio.cam.ac.uk .
                © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

                Author's Choice—Final version full access.

                Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License applies to Author Choice Articles

                : 28 September 2011
                : 12 January 2012

                membrane proteins,western blotting,ubiquitination,immunology,hla-dm,protein turnover
                membrane proteins, western blotting, ubiquitination, immunology, hla-dm, protein turnover


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