Nucleostemin stabilizes ARF by inhibiting the ubiquitin ligase ULF

D. Lo, Y. Zhang, M. S. Dai, X. X. Sun, S. X. Zeng, H. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Upregulated expression of nucleolar GTPase nucleostemin (NS) has been associated with increased cellular proliferation potential and tumor malignancy during cancer development. Recent reports attribute the growth regulatory effects of NS protein to its role in facilitating ribosome production. However, the oncogenic potential of NS remains unclear, as imbalanced levels of NS have been reported to exert growth inhibitory effect by modulating p53 tumor-suppressor activity. It also remains in questions if aberrant NS levels might have a p53-independent role in regulation of cell proliferation and growth. In this study, we performed affinity purification and mass spectrometry analysis to explore protein-protein interactions influencing NS growth regulatory properties independently of p53 tumor suppressor. We identified the alternative reading frame (ARF) protein as a key protein associating with NS and further verified the interaction through in vitro and in vivo assays. We demonstrated that NS is able to regulate cell cycle progression by regulating the stability of the ARF tumor suppressor. Furthermore, overexpression of NS suppressed ARF polyubiquitination by its E3 ligase Ubiquitin Ligase for ARF and elongated its half-life, whereas knockdown of NS led to the decrease of ARF levels. Also, we found that NS can enhance NPM stabilization of ARF. Thus, we propose that in the absence of p53, ARF can be stabilized by NS and nucleophosmin to serve as an alternative tumor-suppressor surveillance, preventing potential cellular transformation resulting from the growth-inducing effects of NS overexpression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1697
Number of pages10
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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