Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Cereblon is recruited to aggresome and shows cytoprotective effect against ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction.

PMID 26188093


Cereblon (CRBN) is encoded by a candidate gene for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic intellectual disability (ID). The nonsense mutation, R419X, causes deletion of 24 amino acids at the C-terminus of CRBN, leading to mild ID. Although abnormal CRBN function may be associated with ID disease onset, its cellular mechanism is still unclear. Here, we examine the role of CRBN in aggresome formation and cytoprotection. In the presence of a proteasome inhibitor, exogenous CRBN formed perinuclear inclusions and co-localized with aggresome markers. Endogenous CRBN also formed perinuclear inclusions under the same condition. Treatment with a microtubule destabilizer or an inhibitor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of CRBN blocked formation of CRBN inclusions. Biochemical analysis showed CRBN containing inclusions were high-molecular weight, ubiquitin-positive. CRBN overexpression in cultured cells suppressed cell death induced by proteasome inhibitor. Furthermore, knockdown of endogenous CRBN in cultured cells increased cell death induced by proteasome inhibitor, compared with control cells. Our results show CRBN is recruited to aggresome and has functional roles in cytoprotection against ubiquitin-proteasome system impaired condition.