The cullin-containing ubiquitin-protein isopeptide ligases (E3s) play an important role in regulating the abundance of key proteins involved in cellular processes such as cell cycle and cytokine signaling. They have multisubunit modular structures in which substrate recognition and the catalysis of ubiquitination are carried out by distinct polypeptides. In a search for proteins involved in regulation of cullin-containing E3 ubiquitin ligases we immunopurified CUL4B-containing complex from HeLa cells and identified TIP120A as an associated protein by mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation of cullins revealed that all cullins tested specifically interacted with TIP120A. Reciprocal immunoaffinity purification of TIP120A confirmed the stable interaction of TIP120A with cullin family proteins. TIP120A formed a complex with CUL1 and Rbx1, but interfered with the binding of Skp1 and F-box proteins to CUL1. TIP120A greatly reduced the ubiquitination of phosphorylated IkappaBalpha by SCF(beta-TrCP) ubiquitin ligase. These results suggest that TIP120A functions as a negative regulator of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases and may modulate other cullin ligases in a similar fashion.
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