The F-box Protein FBXO44 Mediates BRCA1 ubiquitination and degradation

Yunzhe Lu, Jiezhi Li, Dongmei Cheng, Balaji Parameswaran, Shaohua Zhang, Zefei Jiang, P. Renee Yew, Junmin Peng, Qinong Ye, Yanfen Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


BRCA1 mutations account for a significant proportion of familial breast and ovarian cancers. In addition, reduced BRCA1 protein is associated with sporadic cancer cases in these tissues. At the cellular level, BRCA1 plays a critical role in multiple cellular functions such as DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint control. Its protein level is regulated in a cell cycle-dependent manner. However, regulation of BRCA1 protein stability is not fully understood. Our earlier study showed that the amino terminus of BRCA1 harbors a degron sequence that is sufficient and necessary for conferring BRCA1 degradation. In the current study, we used mass spectrometry to identify Skp1 that regulates BRCA1 protein stability. Small interfering RNA screening that targets all human F-box proteins uncovered FBXO44 as an important protein that influences BRCA1 protein level. The Skp1-Cul1-F-box-protein44 (SCFFBXO44) complex ubiquitinates full-length BRCA1 in vitro. Furthermore, the N terminus of BRCA1 mediates the interaction between BRCA1 and FBXO44. Overexpression of SCF FBXO44 reduces BRCA1 protein level. Taken together, our work strongly suggests that SCFFBXO44 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for BRCA1 degradation. In addition, FBXO44 expression pattern in breast carcinomas suggests that SCFFBXO44-mediated BRCA1 degradation might contribute to sporadic breast tumor development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41014-41022
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Nov 30 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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