The mechanism of ubiquitin-dependent endocytosis of cell surface proteins is not completely understood. Here we examine the role of the ankyrin repeat domain (Ankrd) 13A, 13B, and 13D proteins, which constitute a functionally unknown family of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM)-bearing proteins, in the process. Stimulation of human HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF) rapidly induced direct binding of Ankrd 13 proteins to ubiquitinated EGF receptor (EGFR) via the UIMs. The binding was inhibited when the Ankrd 13 proteins underwent UIM-dependent monoubiquitination, suggesting that their activity is regulated by ubiquitination of themselves. Ankrd 13 proteins bound specifically to Lys-63-linked ubiquitin chains, which was consistent with a previous report that EGFR mainly undergoes Lys-63-linked polyubiquitination. Ankrd 13 proteins were anchored, via the central region and UIMs, to the plasma membrane, where they colocalized with EGFR. Finally, overexpression of wild-type as well as truncated-mutant Ankrd 13 proteins strongly inhibited rapid endocytosis of ubiquitinated EGFR from the surface in EGF-treated cells. We conclude that by binding to the Lys-63-linked polyubiquitin moiety of EGFR at the plasma membrane, Ankrd 13 proteins regulate the rapid internalization of ligand-activated EGFR.
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