The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein is a tumor suppressor originally identified in acute promyelocytic leukemia and implicated in tumorigenesis in multiple forms of cancer. Here, we demonstrate that the PML protein undergoes ubiquitination-mediated degradation facilitated by an E3 ligase UHRF1 (ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING finger domains 1), which is commonly upregulated in various human malignancies. Furthermore, UHRF1 negatively regulates PML protein accumulation in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), HEK 293 cells and cancer cells. Knockdown of UHRF1 upregulates whereas ectopic overexpression of UHRF1 downregulates protein abundance of endogenous or exogenous PML, doing so through its binding to the N-terminus of PML. Overexpression of wild-type UHRF1 shortens PML protein half-life and promotes PML polyubiquitination, whereas deletion of the RING domain or coexpression of the dominant-negative E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E2D2, attenuates this modification to PML. Finally, knockdown of UHRF1 prolongs PML half-life and increases PML protein accumulation, yet inhibits cell migration and in vitro capillary tube formation, whereas co-knockdown of PML compromises this inhibitory effect. These findings suggest that UHRF1 promotes the turnover of PML protein, and thus targeting UHRF1 to restore PML-mediated tumor suppression represents a promising, novel, anticancer strategy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research