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Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Autoregulation of MARCH1 expression by dimerization and autoubiquitination.


PMID 22508929

Abstract

Some members of the membrane-associated RING-CH family of E3 ubiquitin ligases (MARCHs) are membrane-bound and target major players of the immune response. MARCH1 ubiquitinates and downregulates MHC class II expression in APCs. It is induced by IL-10 and despite a strong increase in mRNA expression in human primary monocytes, the protein remains hardly detectable. To gain insights into the posttranslational regulation of MARCH1, we investigated whether its expression is itself regulated by ubiquitination. Our results demonstrate that MARCH1 is ubiquitinated in transfected human cell lines. Polyubiquitin chain-specific Abs revealed the presence of K48-linked polyubiquitin chains. A mutant devoid of lysine residues in the N- and C-terminal regions was less ubiquitinated and had a prolonged half-life. Reduced ubiquitination was also observed for an inactive mutated form of the molecule (M1WI), suggesting that MARCH1 is capable of autoubiquitination. Immunoprecipitation and energy transfer experiments demonstrated that MARCH1 homodimerizes and also forms heterodimers with others family members. Coexpression of MARCH1 decreased the protein levels of the inactive M1WI, suggesting a transubiquitination process. Taken together, our results suggest that MARCH1 may regulate its own expression through dimerization and autoubiquitination.