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Mutations in LZTR1 drive human disease by dysregulating RAS ubiquitination

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Science  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6419, pp. 1177-1182
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7607

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Regulation of RAS by ubiquitination

The protein LZTR1 is mutated in human cancers and developmental diseases. Work from two groups now converges to implicate the protein in regulating signaling by the small guanosine triphosphatase RAS. Steklov et al. showed that mice haploinsufficient for LZTR1 recapitulated aspects of the human disease Noonan syndrome. Their biochemical studies showed that LZTR1 associated with RAS. LZTR1 appears to function as an adaptor that promotes ubiquitination of RAS, thus inhibiting its signaling functions. Bigenzahn et al. found LZTR1 in a screen for proteins whose absence led to resistance to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors used to treat cancers caused by the BCR-ABL oncogene product. Their biochemical studies and genetic studies in fruitflies also showed that loss of LZTR1 led to increased activity of RAS and signaling through the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.

Science, this issue p. 1177, p. 1171

Abstract

The leucine zipper–like transcriptional regulator 1 (LZTR1) protein, an adaptor for cullin 3 (CUL3) ubiquitin ligase complex, is implicated in human disease, yet its mechanism of action remains unknown. We found that Lztr1 haploinsufficiency in mice recapitulates Noonan syndrome phenotypes, whereas LZTR1 loss in Schwann cells drives dedifferentiation and proliferation. By trapping LZTR1 complexes from intact mammalian cells, we identified the guanosine triphosphatase RAS as a substrate for the LZTR1-CUL3 complex. Ubiquitome analysis showed that loss of Lztr1 abrogated Ras ubiquitination at lysine-170. LZTR1-mediated ubiquitination inhibited RAS signaling by attenuating its association with the membrane. Disease-associated LZTR1 mutations disrupted either LZTR1-CUL3 complex formation or its interaction with RAS proteins. RAS regulation by LZTR1-mediated ubiquitination provides an explanation for the role of LZTR1 in human disease.

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