OTUB1 stabilizes mismatch repair protein MSH2 by blocking ubiquitination

Qiong Wu, Yaping Huang, Liya Gu, Zhijie Chang, Guo Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability primarily by correcting replication errors. MMR deficiency can lead to cancer development and bolsters cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy. However, recent studies have shown that checkpoint blockade therapy is effective in MMR-deficient cancers, thus the ability to identify cancer etiology would greatly benefit cancer treatment. MutS homolog 2 (MSH2) is an obligate subunit of mismatch recognition proteins MutSα (MSH2-MSH6) and MutSβ (MSH2-MSH3). Precise regulation of MSH2 is critical, as either over- or underexpression of MSH2 results in an increased mutation frequency. The mechanism by which cells maintain MSH2 proteostasis is unknown. Using functional ubiquitination and deubiquitination assays, we show that the ovarian tumor (OTU) family deubiquitinase ubiquitin aldehyde binding 1 (OTUB1) inhibits MSH2 ubiquitination by blocking the E2 ligase ubiquitin transfer activity. Depleting OTUB1 in cells promotes the ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of MSH2, leading to greater mutation frequency and cellular resistance to genotoxic agents, including the common chemotherapy agents N-methyl-N’-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine and cisplatin. Taken together, our data identify OTUB1 as an important regulator of MSH2 stability and provide evidence that OTUB1 is a potential biomarker for cancer etiology and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100466
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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