Ubiquitin ligases define the substrate specificity of protein ubiquitination and subsequent proteosomal degradation. The catalytic sequence was first characterized in the C terminus of E6-associated protein (E6AP) and referred to as the HECT (homologous to E6AP C terminus) domain. The human homologue of the regulator of cell proliferation hyperplastic discs in Drosophila, designated hHYD, is a HECT-domain ubiquitin ligase. Here we show that hHYD provides a ubiquitin system for a cellular response to DNA damage. A yeast two-hybrid screen showed that DNA topoisomerase IIbeta-binding protein 1 (TopBP1) interacted with hHYD. Endogenous hHYD bound the BRCA1 C-terminus domains of TopBP1 that are highlighted in DNA damage checkpoint proteins and cell cycle regulators. Using an in vitro reconstitution, specific E2 (ubiquitin-conjugating) enzymes (human UbcH4, UbcH5B, and UbcH5C) transferred ubiquitin molecules to hHYD, leading to the ubiquitination of TopBP1. TopBP1 was usually ubiquitinated and degraded by the proteosome, whereas X-irradiation diminished the ubiquitination of TopBP1 probably via the phosphorylation, resulting in the stable colocalization of up-regulated TopBP1 with gamma-H2AX nuclear foci in DNA breaks. These results demonstrated that hHYD coordinated TopBP1 in the DNA damage response.
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