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Gradilla, A.C., Mansilla, A., Ferrús, A. (2011). Isoform-Specific Regulation of a Steroid Hormone Nuclear Receptor by an E3 Ubiquitin Ligase in Drosophila melanogaster.  Genetics 189(3): 871--883.
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Research paper

The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) regulates gene transcription through the heterodimeric nuclear receptor composed of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and Ultraspiracle (USP). The EcR gene encodes three protein isoforms--A, B1, and B2--with variant N-terminal domains that mediate tissue and developmental stage-specific responses to 20E. Ariadne-1a is a conserved member of the RING finger family of ubiquitin ligases first identified in Drosophila melanogaster. Loss-of-function mutations at key cysteines in either of the two RING finger motifs, as well as general overexpression of this enzyme, cause lethality in pupae, which suggests a requirement in metamorphosis. Here, we show that Ariadne-1a binds specifically the isoform A of EcR and ubiquitylates it. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that the full sequence of EcRA is required for this binding. Protein levels of EcRA and USP change in opposite directions when those of ARI-1a are genetically altered. This is an isoform-specific, E3-dependent regulatory mechanism for a steroid nuclear receptor. Further, qRT-PCR experiments show that the ARI-1a levels lead to the transcriptional regulation of Eip78C, Eip74EF, Eip75B, and Br-C, as well as that of EcR and usp genes. Thus, the activity of this enzyme results in the regulation of dimerizing receptors at the protein and gene transcription levels. This fine-tuned orchestration by a conserved ubiquitin ligase is required during insect metamorphosis and, likely, in other steroid hormone-controlled processes across species.

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PMC3213379 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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