PELI1 Selectively Targets Kinase-Active RIP3 for Ubiquitylation-Dependent Proteasomal Degradation

Mol Cell. 2018 Jun 7;70(5):920-935.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.05.016. Epub 2018 Jun 7.


Receptor-interacting protein kinase-3 (RIP3 or RIPK3) is a central protein in necroptosis, but posttranslational processes that regulate RIP3 activity and stability remain poorly understood. Here, we identify pellino E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1 (PELI1) as an E3 ligase that targets RIP3 for proteasome-dependent degradation. Phosphorylation of RIP3 on T182 leads to interaction with the forkhead-associated (FHA) domain of PELI1 and PELI1-mediated K48-linked polyubiquitylation of RIP3 on K363. This same phosphorylation event is also important for RIP3 kinase activity; thus, PELI1 preferentially targets kinase-active RIP3 for degradation. PELI1-mediated RIP3 degradation effectively prevents cell death triggered by RIP3 hyperactivation. Importantly, upregulated RIP3 expression in keratinocytes from toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) patients is correlated with low expression of PELI1, suggesting that loss of PELI1 may play a role in the pathogenesis of TEN. We propose that PELI1 may function to control inadvertent activation of RIP3, thus preventing aberrant cell death and maintaining cellular homeostasis.

Keywords: FHA domain; PELI1; RIP3; cell death; kinase; proteasome; ubiquitylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HT29 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / enzymology*
  • Keratinocytes / pathology
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Proteolysis
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / enzymology*
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / genetics
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / pathology
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PELI1 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • RIPK3 protein, human
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Ripk3 protein, mouse
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Peli1 protein, mouse