Frey et al. published in Scientific Reports

24. März 2022

Proteasomal turnover of the RhoGAP tumor suppressor DLC1 is regulated by HECTD1 and USP7

Yannick Frey, Mirita Franz‑Wachtel, Boris Macek & Monilola A. Olayioye


The Rho GTPase activating protein Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 (DLC1) is frequently downregulated through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in various malignancies, leading to aberrant Rho GTPase signaling and thus facilitating cancer progression. Here we show that in breast cancer cells, dysregulation of DLC1 expression occurs at the protein level through rapid degradation via the ubiquitin–proteasome system. Using mass spectrometry, we identify two novel DLC1 interaction partners, the ubiquitin‑ligase HECTD1 and the deubiquitinating enzyme ubiquitin‑specific‑processing protease 7 (USP7). While DLC1 protein expression was rapidly downregulated upon pharmacological inhibition of USP7, siRNA‑mediated knockdown of HECTD1 increased DLC1 protein levels and impaired its degradation. Immunofluorescence microscopy analyses revealed that the modulation of HECTD1 levels and USP7 activity altered DLC1 abundance at focal adhesions, its primary site of action. Thus, we propose opposing regulatory mechanisms of DLC1 protein homeostasis by USP7 and HECTD1, which could open up strategies to counteract downregulation and restore DLC1 expression in cancer


doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08844-3

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