Ubiquitin dimers control the hydrolase activity of UCH-L3.
Ubiquitin (Ub) carboxy terminal hydrolase (UCH)-L1 and UCH-L3 are two of the deubiquitinating enzymes expressed in the brain. Both gad mice, which lack UCH-L1 expression and Uchl3 knockout mice exhibit neurodegeneration, although at distinct areas. These phenotypes indicate the importance of UCH-L1 and UCH-L3 in the regulation of the central nervous system. However, molecular substrates and the molecular regulators of UCH-L1 and UCH-L3 remain poorly identified. Here we show that Ub dimers interact non-covalently with UCH-L3 in vitro and in cells. These interactions were not observed with UCH-L1 in cells. In vitro, K48-linked Ub dimers pronouncedly inhibited the hydrolase activity of UCH-L3, while mono-Ub, a previously identified interacting protein, inhibited the hydrolase activity of UCH-L1. These results indicate that mono-Ub and Ub dimers may regulate the enzymatic functions of UCH-L1 and UCH-L3, respectively, in vivo.