Molecular biology of the cell

Phosphorylation and SCF-mediated degradation regulate CREB-H transcription of metabolic targets.

PMID 26108621


CREB‑H, an endoplasmic reticulum-anchored transcription factor, plays a key role in regulating secretion and in metabolic and inflammatory pathways, but how its activity is modulated remains unclear. We examined processing of the nuclear active form and identified a motif around S87-S90 with homology to DSG-type phosphodegrons. We show that this region is subject to multiple phosphorylations, which regulate CREB-H stability by targeting it to the SCF(Fbw1a) E3 ubiquitin ligase. Data from phosphatase treatment, use of phosophospecific antibody, and substitution of serine residues demonstrate phosphorylation of candidate serines in the region, with the core S87/S90 motif representing a critical determinant promoting proteasome-mediated degradation. Candidate kinases CKII and GSK-3b phosphorylate CREB-H in vitro with specificities for different serines. Prior phosphorylation with GSK-3 at one or more of the adjacent serines substantially increases S87/S90-dependent phosphorylation by CKII. In vivo expression of a dominant-negative Cul1 enhances steady-state levels of CREB‑H, an effect augmented by Fbw1a. CREB-H directly interacts with Fbw1a in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Finally, mutations within the phosphodegron, when incorporated into the full-length protein, result in increased levels of constitutively cleaved nuclear protein and increased transcription and secretion of a key endogenous target gene, apolipoprotein A IV.