Activation of the transcription factor NF-kappa B in response to proinflammatory stimuli requires the phosphorylation-triggered and ubiquitin-dependent degradation of the NF-kappa B inhibitor, I kappa B alpha. Here, we show the in vitro reconstitution of the phosphorylation-dependent ubiquitination of I kappa B alpha with purified components. ROC1, a novel SCF-associated protein, is recruited by cullin 1 to form a quatemary SCFHOS-ROC1 holenzyme (with Skp1 and the beta-TRCP homolog HOS). SCFHOS-ROC1 binds IKK beta-phosphorylated I kappa B alpha and catalyzes its ubiquitination in the presence of ubiquitin, E1, and Cdc34. ROC1 plays a unique role in the ubiquitination reaction by heterodimerizing with cullin 1 to catalyze ubiquitin polymerization.
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