NEDD8 is a ubiquitin (Ub)-like protein. Here we report a novel ubiquitinylation-related pathway for modification by NEDD8. NEDD8 was activated by an E1 (Ub-activating enzyme)-like complex, consisting of APP-BP1 and hUba3 with high respective homologies to the amino- and carboxy-terminal regions of E1 and then linked to hUbc12 (a human homolog of yeast Ub-conjugating enzyme Ubc12p). The major target protein modified by NEDD8 was found to be Hs-cullin-4A (Cul-4A), a member of the family of human cullin/Cdc53 proteins functioning as an essential component of a multifunctional Ub-protein ligase E3 complex that has a critical role in Ub-mediated proteolysis.
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