Josephin domain-containing proteins from a variety of species are active de-ubiquitination enzymes.
, Breuer P
Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.
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The neurodegenerative disease spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is caused by the presence of an extended polyglutamine stretch (polyQ) in the unstructured C-terminus of the human ataxin-3 (AT3) protein. The structured N-terminal Josephin domain (JD) of AT3 is conserved within a novel family of potential ubiquitin proteases, the JD-containing proteins, which are sub-divided into two groups termed ataxins and Josephins. These AT3 orthologs are encoded by the genomes of organisms ranging from Plasmodium falciparum to humans, with most species possessing more than one homolog. While Josephins consist of JDs alone, ataxins contain additional functional domains that may influence their enzyme activity. Here, we show that the enzyme activity of human AT3 (hAT3) is not affected by the length of polyQ in its C-terminus, even when it is in the range associated with SCA3. We also show that JDs of all human proteins with homology to AT3 and its homologs from various species possess de-ubiquitination activity. These results establish JD-containing proteins as a novel family of active de-ubiquitination enzymes with wide phylogenic distribution.
PMID: 17696782 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]