FWD1 (the mouse homolog of Drosophila Slimb and Xenopus betaTrCP, a member of the F-box- and WD40 repeat-containing family of proteins, and a component of the SCF ubiquitin ligase complex) was recently shown to interact with IkappaBalpha and thereby to promote its ubiquitination and degradation. This protein has now been shown also to bind to IkappaBbeta and IkappaBepsilon as well as to induce their ubiquitination and proteolysis. FWD1 was shown to recognize the conserved DSGPsiXS motif (where Psi represents the hydrophobic residue) present in the NH(2)-terminal regions of these three IkappaB proteins only when the component serine residues are phosphorylated. However, in contrast to IkappaBalpha and IkappaBbeta, the recognition site in IkappaBepsilon for FWD1 is not restricted to the DSGPsiXS motif; FWD1 also interacts with other sites in the NH(2)-terminal region of IkappaBepsilon. Substitution of the critical serine residues in the NH(2)-terminal regions of IkappaBalpha, IkappaBbeta, and IkappaBepsilon with alanines also markedly reduced the extent of FWD1-mediated ubiquitination of these proteins and increased their stability. These data indicate that the three IkappaB proteins, despite their substantial structural and functional differences, all undergo ubiquitination mediated by the SCF(FWD1) complex. FWD1 may thus play an important role in NF-kappaB signal transduction through regulation of the stability of multiple IkappaB proteins.
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