Two ZnF-UBP domains in isopeptidase T (USP5).

PMID 22283393


Human ubiquitin-specific cysteine protease 5 (USP5, also known as ISOT and isopeptidase T), an 835-residue multidomain enzyme, recycles ubiquitin by hydrolyzing isopeptide bonds in a variety of unanchored polyubiquitin substrates. Activation of the enzyme's hydrolytic activity toward ubiquitin-AMC (7-amino-4-methylcoumarin), a fluorogenic substrate, by the addition of free, unanchored monoubiquitin suggested an allosteric mechanism of activation by the ZnF-UBP domain (residues 163-291), which binds the substrate's unanchored diglycine carboxyl tail. By determining the structure of full-length USP5, we discovered the existence of a cryptic ZnF-UBP domain (residues 1-156), which was tightly bound to the catalytic core and was indispensable for catalytic activity. In contrast, the previously characterized ZnF-UBP domain did not contribute directly to the active site; a paucity of interactions suggested flexibility between these two domains consistent with an ability by the enzyme to hydrolyze a variety of different polyubiquitin chain linkages. Deletion of the known ZnF-UBP domain did not significantly affect rate of hydrolysis of ubiquitin-AMC and suggested that it is likely associated mainly with substrate targeting and specificity. Together, our findings show that USP5 uses multiple ZnF-UBP domains for substrate targeting and core catalytic function.