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The CUL4-DDB1 ubiquitin ligase complex controls adult and embryonic stem cell differentiation and homeostasis

Gao, Jie; Buckley, Shannon M.; Cimmino, Luisa; Guillamot, Maria; Strikoudis, Alexandros; Cang, Yong; Goff, Stephen P.; Aifantis, Iannis

Little is known on post-transcriptional regulation of adult and embryonic stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Here we characterize the role of Ddb1, a component of the CUL4-DDB1 ubiquitin ligase complex. Ddb1 is highly expressed in multipotent hematopoietic progenitors and its deletion leads to abrogation of both adult and fetal hematopoiesis, targeting specifically transiently amplifying progenitor subsets. However, Ddb1 deletion in non-dividing lymphocytes has no discernible phenotypes. Ddb1 silencing activates Trp53 pathway and leads to significant effects on cell cycle progression and rapid apoptosis. The abrogation of hematopoietic progenitor cells can be partially rescued by simultaneous deletion of Trp53. Conversely, depletion of DDB1 in embryonic stem cell (ESC) leads to differentiation albeit negative effects on cell cycle and apoptosis. Mass spectrometry reveals differing protein interactions between DDB1 and distinct DCAFs, the substrate recognizing components of the E3 complex, between cell types. Our studies identify CUL4-DDB1 complex as a novel post-translational regulator of stem and progenitor maintenance and differentiation.

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Academic Units
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Published Here
August 12, 2018
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