HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase itch functions as a novel negative regulator of Gli-similar 3 (Glis3) transcriptional activity

Academic Article


  • The transcription factor Gli-similar 3 (Glis3) plays a critical role in the generation of pancreatic ß cells and the regulation insulin gene transcription and has been implicated in the development of several pathologies, including type 1 and 2 diabetes and polycystic kidney disease. However, little is known about the proteins and posttranslational modifications that regulate or mediate Glis3 transcriptional activity. In this study, we identify by massspectrometry and yeast 2-hybrid analyses several proteins that interact with the N-terminal region of Glis3. These include the WW-domain-containing HECT E3 ubiquitin ligases, Itch, Smurf2, and Nedd4. The interaction between Glis3 and the HECT E3 ubiquitin ligases was verified by co-immunoprecipitation assays and mutation analysis. All three proteins interact through their WW-domains with a PPxY motif located in the Glis3 N-terminus. However, only Itch significantly contributed to Glis3 polyubiquitination and reduced Glis3 stability by enhancing its proteasomal degradation. Itch-mediated degradation of Glis3 required the PPxY motif-dependent interaction between Glis3 and the WW-domains of Itch as well as the presence of the Glis3 zinc finger domains. Transcription analyses demonstrated that Itch dramatically inhibited Glis3-mediated transactivation and endogenous Ins2 expression by increasing Glis3 protein turnover. Taken together, our study identifies Itch as a critical negative regulator of Glis3-mediated transcriptional activity. This regulation provides a novel mechanism to modulate Glis3-driven gene expression and suggests that it may play a role in a number of physiological processes controlled by Glis3, such as insulin transcription, as well as in Glis3-associated diseases. Copyright:
  • Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zeruth GT; Williams JG; Cole YC; Jetten AM
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 7