• The E3 ubiquitin ligase component, Cereblon, is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of Wnt signaling

      Shen, Chen; Nayak, Anmada; Neitzel, Leif R; Adams, Amber A; Silver-Isenstadt, Maya; Sawyer, Leah M; Benchabane, Hassina; Wang, Huilan; Bunnag, Nawat; Li, Bin; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-09-06)
      Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) are important for the treatment of multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. Binding of IMiDs to Cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase, induces cancer cell death by targeting key neo-substrates for degradation. Despite this clinical significance, the physiological regulation of CRBN remains largely unknown. Herein we demonstrate that Wnt, the extracellular ligand of an essential signal transduction pathway, promotes the CRBN-dependent degradation of a subset of proteins. These substrates include Casein kinase 1α (CK1α), a negative regulator of Wnt signaling that functions as a key component of the β-Catenin destruction complex. Wnt stimulation induces the interaction of CRBN with CK1α and its resultant ubiquitination, and in contrast with previous reports does so in the absence of an IMiD. Mechanistically, the destruction complex is critical in maintaining CK1α stability in the absence of Wnt, and in recruiting CRBN to target CK1α for degradation in response to Wnt. CRBN is required for physiological Wnt signaling, as modulation of CRBN in zebrafish and Drosophila yields Wnt-driven phenotypes. These studies demonstrate an IMiD-independent, Wnt-driven mechanism of CRBN regulation and provide a means of controlling Wnt pathway activity by CRBN, with relevance for development and disease.
    • LIPG signaling promotes tumor initiation and metastasis of human basal-like triple-negative breast cancer

      Lo, P.-K.; Yao, Y.; Lee, J.S. (eLife Sciences Publications Ltd, 2018)
      Current understanding of aggressive human basal-like triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains incomplete. In this study, we show endothelial lipase (LIPG) is aberrantly overexpressed in basal-like TNBCs. We demonstrate that LIPG is required for in vivo tumorigenicity and metastasis of TNBC cells. LIPG possesses a lipase-dependent function that supports cancer cell proliferation and a lipase-independent function that promotes invasiveness, stemness and basal/ epithelial-mesenchymal transition features of TNBC. Mechanistically, LIPG executes its oncogenic function through its involvement in interferon-related DTX3L-ISG15 signaling, which regulates protein function and stability by ISGylation. We show that DTX3L, an E3-ubiquitin ligase, is required for maintaining LIPG protein levels in TNBC cells by inhibiting proteasome-mediated LIPG degradation. Inactivation of LIPG impairs DTX3L-ISG15 signaling, indicating the existence of DTX3L-LIPG-ISG15 signaling. We further reveal LIPG-ISG15 signaling is lipase-independent. We demonstrate that DTX3L-LIPG-ISG15 signaling is essential for malignancies of TNBC cells. Targeting this pathway provides a novel strategy for basal-like TNBC therapy. Copyright Lo et al.