The family of cullin-RING E3 Ligases (CRLs) and the constitutive photomorphogenesis 9 (COP9) signalosome (CSN) form dynamic complexes that mediate ubiquitylation of 20% of the proteome, yet regulation of their assembly/disassembly remains poorly understood. Inositol polyphosphates are highly conserved signaling molecules implicated in diverse cellular processes. We now report that inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) is a major physiologic determinant of the CRL-CSN interface, which includes a hitherto unidentified electrostatic interaction between the N-terminal acidic tail of CSN subunit 2 (CSN2) and a conserved basic canyon on cullins. IP6, with an EC50 of 20 nM, acts as an intermolecular "glue," increasing cullin-CSN2 binding affinity by 30-fold, thereby promoting assembly of the inactive CRL-CSN complexes. The IP6 synthase, Ins(1,3,4,5,6)P5 2-kinase (IPPK/IP5K) binds to cullins. Depleting IP5K increases the percentage of neddylated, active Cul1 and Cul4A, and decreases levels of the Cul1/4A substrates p27 and p21. Besides dysregulating CRL-mediated cell proliferation and UV-induced apoptosis, IP5K depletion potentiates by 28-fold the cytotoxic effect of the neddylation inhibitor MLN4924. Thus, IP5K and IP6 are evolutionarily conserved components of the CRL-CSN system and are potential targets for cancer therapy in conjunction with MLN4924.
Keywords: COP9 signalosome; CRL; IP5K; cullin RING E3 ligases; inositol hexakisphosphate.