International journal of molecular medicine

Mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase activator of NF-κB regulates NF-κB signaling in cells subjected to ER stress.

PMID 27082251


The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factor family members control various biological processes, such as apoptosis and proliferation. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has emerged as a major site of cellular homeostasis regulation. The accumulation of misfolded protein in the ER causes stress and ER stress-induced NF-κB activation to protect cells from apoptosis. In this study, we found a putative ER stress-response element (ERSE) on the promoter of mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase activator of NF-κB (MULAN), and that MULAN expression was upregulated by ER stress. MULAN specifically activated NF-κB dependent gene expression in an E3 ligase activity-dependent manner. The ectopic expression of MULAN induced the nuclear translocation of endogenous p65 and the degradation of IκB. Binding assay revealed that MULAN was associated with transforming growth factor β-activated kinase (TAK1). The knockdown of MULAN using siRNA inhibited the activation of NF-κB in the cells subjected to ER stress. The findings of our study indicate that MULAN is an E3 ligase that regulates NF-κB activation to protect cells from ER stress-induced apoptosis.