The serine/threonine kinase Akt functions in multiple cellular processes, including cell survival and tumor development. Studies of the mechanisms that negatively regulate Akt have focused on dephosphorylation-mediated inactivation. In this study, we identified a negative regulator of Akt, MULAN, which possesses both a RING finger domain and E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Akt was found to directly interact with MULAN and to be ubiquitinated by MULAN in vitro and in vivo. Other molecular assays demonstrated that phosphorylated Akt is a substantive target for both interaction with MULAN and ubiquitination by MULAN. The results of the functional studies suggest that the degradation of Akt by MULAN suppresses cell proliferation and viability. These data provide insight into the Akt ubiquitination signaling network.
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