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IKKepsilon-mediated tumorigenesis requires K63-linked polyubiquitination by a cIAP1/cIAP2/TRAF2 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex.

Zhou A.Y., Shen R.R., Kim E., Lock Y.J., Xu M., Chen Z.J., Hahn W.C.

IκB kinase ε (IKKε, IKBKE) is a key regulator of innate immunity and a breast cancer oncogene, amplified in ~30% of breast cancers, that promotes malignant transformation through NF-κB activation. Here, we show that IKKε is modified and regulated by K63-linked polyubiquitination at lysine 30 and lysine 401. Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1β stimulation induces IKKε K63-linked polyubiquitination over baseline levels in both macrophages and breast cancer cell lines, and this modification is essential for IKKε kinase activity, IKKε-mediated NF-κB activation, and IKKε-induced malignant transformation. Disruption of K63-linked ubiquitination of IKKε does not affect its overall structure but impairs the recruitment of canonical NF-κB proteins. A cIAP1/cIAP2/TRAF2 E3 ligase complex binds to and ubiquitinates IKKε. Altogether, these observations demonstrate that K63-linked polyubiquitination regulates IKKε activity in both inflammatory and oncogenic contexts and suggests an alternative approach to targeting this breast cancer oncogene.

Cell Rep. 3:724-733(2013) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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