The Nedd4-binding partner 1 (N4BP1) protein is an inhibitor of the E3 ligase Itch

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 3;104(27):11280-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0701773104. Epub 2007 Jun 25.


Nedd4-binding partner-1 (N4BP1) has been identified as a protein interactor and a substrate of the homologous to E6AP C terminus (HECT) domain-containing E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3), Nedd4. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized functional interaction between N4BP1 and Itch, a Nedd4 structurally related E3, which contains four WW domains, conferring substrate-binding activity. We show that N4BP1 association with the second WW domain (WW2) of Itch interferes with E3 binding to its substrates. In particular, we found that N4BP1 and p73 alpha, a target of Itch-mediated ubiquitin/proteasome proteolysis, share the same binding site. By competing with p73 alpha for binding to the WW2 domain, N4BP1 reduces the ability of Itch to recruit and ubiquitylate p73 alpha and inhibits Itch autoubiquitylation activity both in in vitro and in vivo ubiquitylation assays. Similarly, both c-Jun and p63 polyubiquitylation by Itch are inhibited by N4BP1. As a consequence, genetic and RNAi knockdown of N4BP1 diminish the steady-state protein levels and significantly impair the transcriptional activity of Itch substrates. Notably, stress-induced induction of c-Jun was impaired in N4BP1(-/-) cells. These results demonstrate that N4BP1 functions as a negative regulator of Itch. In addition, because inhibition of Itch by N4BP1 results in the stabilization of crucial cell death regulators such as p73 alpha and c-Jun, it is conceivable that N4BP1 may have a role in regulating tumor progression and the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nedd4 Ubiquitin Protein Ligases
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity / genetics
  • Substrate Specificity / physiology
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / physiology*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • N4BP1 protein, mouse
  • Ndfip1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun
  • Trp73 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Itch protein, mouse
  • Nedd4 Ubiquitin Protein Ligases
  • Nedd4l protein, mouse
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases