Cullin proteins assemble a large number of RING E3 ubiquitin ligases and regulate various physiological processes. Covalent modification of cullins by the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 activates cullin ligases through an as yet undefined mechanism. We show here that p120(CAND1) selectively binds to unneddylated CUL1 and is dissociated by CUL1 neddylation. CAND1 formed a ternary complex with CUL1 and ROC1. CAND1 dissociated SKP1 from CUL1 and inhibited SCF ligase activity in vitro. Suppression of CAND1 in vivo increased the level of the CUL1-SKP1 complex. We suggest that by restricting SKP1-CUL1 interaction, CAND1 regulated the assembly of productive SCF ubiquitin ligases, allowing a common CUL1-ROC core to be utilized by a large number of SKP1-F box-substrate subcomplexes.
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