alexa Dynamic methylation of Numb by Set8 regulates its binding to p53 and apoptosis.


Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

Author(s): Dhami GK, Liu H, Galka M, Voss C, Wei R,

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Abstract Although Numb exhibits its tumor-suppressive function in breast cancer in part by binding to and stabilizing p53, it is unknown how the Numb-p53 interaction is regulated in cells. We found that Numb is methylated in its phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain by the lysine methyltransferase Set8. Moreover, methylation uncouples Numb from p53, resulting in increased p53 ubiquitination and degradation. While Numb promotes apoptosis in a p53-dependent manner, the apoptotic function is abolished when Numb is methylated by Set8 or the Lys methylation sites in Numb are mutated. Conversely, the Numb-p53 interaction and Numb-mediated apoptosis are significantly enhanced by depletion of Set8 from cancer cells or by treating the cells with doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug that causes a reduction in the mRNA and protein levels of Set8. Our work identifies the Set8-Numb-p53 signaling axis as an important regulatory pathway for apoptosis and suggests a therapeutic strategy by targeting Numb methylation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in Mol Cell and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

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