Ubiquitin ligase E6AP mediates nonproteolytic polyubiquitylation of β-catenin independent of the E6 oncoprotein

Yael Kuslansky, Sophia Sominsky, Anna Jackman, Cristina Gamell, Brendon J. Monahan, Ygal Haupt, Rina Rosin-Arbesfeld, Levana Sherman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Recently, we showed that the ubiquitin ligase E6AP stabilizes β-catenin and activates its transcriptional activity. These activities were enhanced by the human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 protein. In the present study, we explored the function of E6AP, which increases β-catenin stabilization and transcriptional activation. Here, we report that E6AP interacts with β-catenin and mediates its nonproteolytic ubiquitylation, as evidenced in transiently transfected cell-based and in vitro reconstitution ubiquitylation assays. Overexpression of E6AP increased β-catenin polyubiquitylation and, consistent with that, knockdown or knock-out of E6AP expression reduced β-catenin polyubiquitylation. The ubiquitylation of β-catenin by E6AP was dependent on its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, but it was proteasome-independent and did not require HPV-E6, phosphorylation of β-catenin by glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) or activity of the β-catenin ‘destruction complex’. We also show that transcriptional activation of β-catenin by E6AP is coupled with β-catenin protein stabilization, but not its ubiquitylation. In contrast to β-catenin ubiquitylation, β-catenin protein stability and its transcriptional activity were absolutely dependent on the activity of the destruction complex and phosphorylation by GSK3β. Collectively, our data uncover a dual role for E6AP in the regulation of β-catenin ubiquitylation, stability and transcriptional activity, with HPV-E6 enhancing only part of E6AP activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000624
Pages (from-to)3313-3330
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016


FundersFunder number
Georgetown University Medical Center
NMHRC1063389, 1026988, 1049179
Sackler Faculty of Medicine
National Health and Medical Research Council9628426
Israel Science Foundation
Tel Aviv University1253-10, TCF4-HA


    • E6AP
    • HPV E6
    • Ubiquitylastion
    • Wnt signaling
    • β-Catenin


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