The transcription factor c-Maf is extensively involved in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma (MM), a fatal malignancy of plasma cells. In the present study, affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry were used to identify c-Maf ubiquitination-associated proteins, from which the E3 ligase HERC4 was found to interact with c-Maf and catalyzed its polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasome-mediated degradation. HERC4 mediated polyubiquitination at K85 and K297 in c-Maf, and this polyubiquitination could be prevented by the isopeptidase USP5. Further analysis on the NCI-60 cell line collection revealed that RPMI 8226, a MM-derived cell line, expressed the lowest level of HERC4. Primary bone marrow analysis revealed HERC4 expression was high in normal bone marrow, but was steadily decreased during myelomagenesis. These findings suggested HERC4 played an important role in MM progression. Moreover, ectopic HERC4 expression decreased MM proliferation in vitro, and delayed xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Therefore, modulation of c-Maf ubiquitination by targeting HERC4 may represent a new therapeutic modality for MM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology