The mechanism of poly-NEDD8 chain formation in vitro

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Apr 10;381(3):443-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.02.090. Epub 2009 Feb 24.


NEDD8 is a small ubiquitin-like protein that modifies target proteins in a reaction similar to ubiquitination. In this reaction, three enzymes are required and sufficient: NEDD8 activating E1-like enzyme (APP-BP1/Uba3), NEDD8-specific E2 enzyme (Ubc12) and RING-finger protein ROC1 (NEDD8 E3 ligase). Unlike ubiquitin, which is well known to form poly-ubiquitin chain, little is known about the formation of poly-NEDD8 chain. Here we show the mechanism of poly-NEDD8 chain formation on Cullin-1 using a complete in vitro reconstituted NEDD8 conjugation system. Intriguingly, poly-NEDD8 chain was build up on catalytic Cysteine residue of Ubc12. Furthermore, Ubc12 formed poly-NEDD8 chain without the activity of ROC1. Rather ROC1 mutant, defective for ubiquitin ligase activity, dramatically enhanced the poly-NEDD8 chain formation. In turn, ROC1 was essential for the transfer of poly-NEDD8 chain from Ubc12 to Cul-1. These results suggest the important regulatory role of ROC1 for poly-NEDD8 chain formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Catalysis
  • Cullin Proteins / chemistry
  • Cullin Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NEDD8 Protein
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / chemistry
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism
  • Ubiquitins / chemistry
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cullin 1
  • Cullin Proteins
  • NEDD8 Protein
  • NEDD8 protein, human
  • Polymers
  • RBX1 protein, human
  • Ubiquitins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Cysteine