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  • Deubiquitylation of hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) by ubiquitin-specific peptidase 15 (USP15) increases HBx stability and its transactivation activity.

Deubiquitylation of hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) by ubiquitin-specific peptidase 15 (USP15) increases HBx stability and its transactivation activity.

Scientific reports (2017-01-12)
Zhi-Jun Su, Jia-Shou Cao, Yan-Fang Wu, Wan-Nan Chen, Xinjian Lin, Yun-Li Wu, Xu Lin
ABSTRACT

Hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) plays important roles in viral replication and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. HBx is a rapid turnover protein and ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has been suggested to influence HBx stability as treatment with proteasome inhibitors increases the levels of HBx protein and causes accumulation of the polyubiquitinated forms of HBx. Deubiquitinases (DUBs) are known to act by removing ubiquitin moieties from proteins and thereby reverse their stability and/or activity. However, no information is available regarding the involvement of DUBs in regulation of ubiquitylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of HBx protein. This study identified the deubiquitylating enzyme USP15 as a critical regulator of HBx protein level. USP15 was found to directly interact with HBx via binding to the HBx region between amino acid residues 51 and 80. USP15 increased HBx protein levels in a dose-dependent manner and siRNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous USP15 reduced HBx protein levels. Increased HBx stability and steady-state level by USP15 were attributable to reduced HBx ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Importantly, the transcriptional transactivation function of HBx is enhanced by overexpression of USP15. These results suggest that USP15 plays an essential role in stabilizing HBx and subsequently affects the biological function of HBx.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
MISSION® esiRNA, targeting human USP15
Sigma-Aldrich
Z-Leu-Leu-Leu-al, ≥90% (HPLC)