Merlin/NF2 Suppresses Tumorigenesis by Inhibiting the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase CRL4DCAF1 in the Nucleus

Wei Li, Liru You, Jonathan Cooper, Gaia Schiavon, Angela Pepe-Caprio, Lu Zhou, Ryohei Ishii, Marco Giovannini, C. Oliver Hanemann, Stephen B. Long, Hediye Erdjument-Bromage, Pengbo Zhou, Paul Tempst, Filippo G. Giancotti

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200 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current models imply that the FERM domain protein Merlin, encoded by the tumor suppressor NF2, inhibits mitogenic signaling at or near the plasma membrane. Here, we show that the closed, growth-inhibitory form of Merlin accumulates in the nucleus, binds to the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL4DCAF1, and suppresses its activity. Depletion of DCAF1 blocks the promitogenic effect of inactivation of Merlin. Conversely, enforced expression of a Merlin-insensitive mutant of DCAF1 counteracts the antimitogenic effect of Merlin. Re-expression of Merlin and silencing of DCAF1 implement a similar, tumor-suppressive program of gene expression. Tumor-derived mutations invariably disrupt Merlin's ability to interact with or inhibit CRL4DCAF1. Finally, depletion of DCAF1 inhibits the hyperproliferation of Schwannoma cells from NF2 patients and suppresses the oncogenic potential of Merlin-deficient tumor cell lines. We propose that Merlin suppresses tumorigenesis by translocating to the nucleus to inhibit CRL4DCAF1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
JournalCell
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 19 2010

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Li, W., You, L., Cooper, J., Schiavon, G., Pepe-Caprio, A., Zhou, L., ... Giancotti, F. G. (2010). Merlin/NF2 Suppresses Tumorigenesis by Inhibiting the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase CRL4DCAF1 in the Nucleus. Cell, 140(4), 477-490. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2010.01.029