Isolation of a cDNA encoding a mammalian multiubiquitinating enzyme (E2(25K)) and overexpression of the functional enzyme in Escherichia coli

Zhijian Chen, Edward G. Niles, Cecile M. Pickart

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62 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ubiquitin (Ub)-conjugating enzyme E2(25K) catalyzes the synthesis of multi-Ub chains in which successive Ub units are linked by an isopeptide bond involving the ε-amino group of Lys-48 of Ub(n), and the COOH-terminal Gly residue of Ub(n+1) (Chen, Z., and Pickart, C. M. (1990) J. Biol. Chem., 265, 21835-21842). We now describe the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based cloning of an E2(25K)-encoding cDNA from a bovine thymus library, using degenerate oligonucleotide primers based on the sequences of two E2(25K) peptides. The cDNA encodes a 200-residue protein whose sequence bears similarities of 66 and 59%, respectively, to the sequences of the Ub-conjugating enzymes encoded by the UBC1 and UBC4/UBC5 genes of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These three yeast E2s play key roles in Ub-dependent proteolysis (Seufert, W., McGrath, J. P., and Jentsch, S. (1990) EMBO J. 9, 4535-4541). Comparison of the amino acid sequence of E2(25K) with other known E2 sequences strongly suggests that Cys-92, one of two E2(25K) Cys residues, forms the Ub thiol ester adduct that is an intermediate in E2-catalyzed multiubiquitination. The E2(25K)-encoding cDNA was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant E2(25K) protein was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity; enzymatic assays showed that its multiubiquitinating activity was quantitatively identical with that of the native protein. The availability of a cloned cDNA will allow us to assess the physiological role of E2(25K).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15698-15704
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume266
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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