The Journal of biological chemistry

Ubiquitin-associated domain-containing ubiquitin regulatory X (UBX) protein UBXN1 is a negative regulator of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling.

PMID 25681446


Excessive nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation should be precisely controlled as it contributes to multiple immune and inflammatory diseases. However, the negative regulatory mechanisms of NF-κB activation still need to be elucidated. Various types of polyubiquitin chains have proved to be involved in the process of NF-κB activation. Many negative regulators linked to ubiquitination, such as A20 and CYLD, inhibit IκB kinase activation in the NF-κB signaling pathway. To find new NF-κB signaling regulators linked to ubiquitination, we used a small scale siRNA library against 51 ubiquitin-associated domain-containing proteins and screened out UBXN1, which contained both ubiquitin-associated and ubiquitin regulatory X (UBX) domains as a negative regulator of TNFα-triggered NF-κB activation. Overexpression of UBXN1 inhibited TNFα-triggered NF-κB activation, although knockdown of UBXN1 had the opposite effect. UBX domain-containing proteins usually act as valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 cofactors. However, knockdown of VCP/p97 barely affected UBXN1-mediated NF-κB inhibition. At the same time, we found that UBXN1 interacted with cellular inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (cIAPs), E3 ubiquitin ligases of RIP1 in the TNFα receptor complex. UBXN1 competitively bound to cIAP1, blocked cIAP1 recruitment to TNFR1, and sequentially inhibited RIP1 polyubiquitination in response to TNFα. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that UBXN1 is an important negative regulator of the TNFα-triggered NF-κB signaling pathway by mediating cIAP recruitment independent of VCP/p97.