Novel Isoform DTX3c Associates with UBE2N-UBA1 and Cdc48/p97 as Part of the EphB4 Degradation Complex Regulated by the Autocrine IGF-II/IRA Signal in Malignant Mesothelioma

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2023 April 17 [Link]

Pierluigi Scalia, Carmen Merali, Carlos Barrero, Antonio Suma, Vincenzo Carnevale, Salim Merali, Stephen J Williams


EphB4 angiogenic kinase over-expression in Mesothelioma cells relies upon a degradation rescue signal provided by autocrine IGF-II activation of Insulin Receptor A. However, the identity of the molecular machinery involved in EphB4 rapid degradation upon IGF-II signal deprivation are unknown. Using targeted proteomics, protein-protein interaction methods, PCR cloning, and 3D modeling approaches, we identified a novel ubiquitin E3 ligase complex recruited by the EphB4 C tail upon autocrine IGF-II signal deprivation. We show this complex to contain a previously unknown N-Terminal isoform of Deltex3 E3-Ub ligase (referred as “DTX3c”), along with UBA1(E1) and UBE2N(E2) ubiquitin ligases and the ATPase/unfoldase Cdc48/p97. Upon autocrine IGF-II neutralization in cultured MSTO211H (a Malignant Mesothelioma cell line that is highly responsive to the EphB4 degradation rescue IGF-II signal), the inter-molecular interactions between these factors were enhanced and their association with the EphB4 C-tail increased consistently with the previously described EphB4 degradation pattern. The ATPase/unfoldase activity of Cdc48/p97 was required for EphB4 recruitment. As compared to the previously known isoforms DTX3a and DTX3b, a 3D modeling analysis of the DTX3c Nt domain showed a unique 3D folding supporting isoform-specific biological function(s). We shed light on the molecular machinery associated with autocrine IGF-II regulation of oncogenic EphB4 kinase expression in a previously characterized IGF-II+/EphB4+ Mesothelioma cell line. The study provides early evidence for DTX3 Ub-E3 ligase involvement beyond the Notch signaling pathway.