Indisulam and related sulfonamides recruit the splicing factor RBM39 to the CRL4-DCAF15 E3 ubiquitin ligase, resulting in RBM39 ubiquitination and degradation. Here, we used a combination of domain mapping and random mutagenesis to identify domains or residues that are necessary for indisulam-dependent RBM39 ubiquitination. DCAF15 mutations at Q232 or D475 prevent RBM39 recruitment by indisulam. RBM39 is recruited to DCAF15 by its RRM2 (RNA recognition motif 2) and is ubiquitinated on its N terminus. RBM23, which is an RBM39 paralog, is also recruited to the CRL4-DCAF15 ligase through its RRM2 domain and undergoes sulfonamide-dependent degradation. Indisulam alters the expression of more than 3,000 genes and causes widespread intron retention and exon skipping. All of these changes can be attributed to RBM39, and none are the consequence of RBM23 degradation. Our findings demonstrate that indisulam selectively degrades RBM23 and RBM39, the latter of which is critically important for splicing and gene expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)