, Volume 11, Issue 12, pp 2147-2157

First online:

Uev1A, a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme variant, inhibits stress-induced apoptosis through NF-κB activation

  • Noor A. SyedAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Parker L. AndersenAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Robert C. WarringtonAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Wei XiaoAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan Email author 

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We have previously shown that UEV1 is up-regulated in all tumor cell lines examined and when SV40-transformed human embryonic kidney cells undergo immortalization; however, it is unclear whether and how UEV1 plays a critical role in this process. UEV1A encodes a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme variant, which is required for Ubc13 (ubiquitin conjugating enzyme) catalyzed poly-ubiquitination of target proteins through Lys63-linked chains. One of the target proteins is NEMO/IKKγ (nuclear factor-κB essential modulator/inhibitor of κB protein kinase), a regulatory subunit of IκB kinase in the NF-κB signaling pathway. In this report, we show that constitutive high-level expression of UEV1A alone in cultured human cells was sufficient to cause a significant increase in NF-κB activity as well as the expression of its target anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2 (B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2). Overexpression of UEV1A also conferred prolonged cell survival under serum-deprived conditions, and protected cells against apoptosis induced by diverse stressing agents. All of the effects of Uev1A were reversible upon suppression of UEV1 expression by RNA interference. Our observations presented in this report provide evidence that Uev1A is a critical regulatory component in the NF-κB signaling pathway in response to environmental stresses and identify UEV1A as a potential proto-oncogene.


Uev1A-Ubc13 Lys-63 poly-ubiquitination NF-κB Cancer Apoptosis