Protein-protein interactions regulate many essential enzymatic processes in the cell. Somatic mutations outside of an enzyme active site can therefore impact cellular function by disruption of critical protein-protein interactions. In our investigation of the cellular impact of the T304I cancer mutation of DNA Polymerase β (Polβ), we find that mutation of this surface threonine residue impacts critical Polβ protein-protein interactions. We show that proteasome-mediated degradation of Polβ is regulated by both ubiquitin-dependent and ubiquitin-independent processes via unique protein-protein interactions. The ubiquitin-independent proteasome pathway regulates the stability of Polβ in the cytosol via interaction between Polβ and NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) in an NADH-dependent manner. Conversely, the interaction of Polβ with the scaffold protein X-ray repair cross complementing 1 (XRCC1) plays a role in the localization of Polβ to the nuclear compartment and regulates the stability of Polβ via a ubiquitin-dependent pathway. Further, we find that oxidative stress promotes the dissociation of the Polβ/NQO1 complex, enhancing the interaction of Polβ with XRCC1. Our results reveal that somatic mutations such as T304I in Polβ impact critical protein-protein interactions, altering the stability and sub-cellular localization of Polβ and providing mechanistic insight into how key protein-protein interactions regulate cellular responses to stress.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.