ATM kinase activity modulates ITCH E3-ubiquitin ligase activity

S. Santini, V. Stagni, R. Giambruno, G. Fianco, A. Di Benedetto, M. Mottolese, M. Pellegrini, D. Barilà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) kinase, a central regulator of the DNA damage response, regulates the activity of several E3-ubiquitin ligases, and the ubiquitination-proteasome system is a consistent target of ATM. ITCH is an E3-ubiquitin ligase that modulates the ubiquitination of several targets, therefore participating to the regulation of several cellular responses, such as the DNA damage response, tumor necrosis factorα (TNFα), Notch and Hedgehog signaling, and the differentiation of 'naive' lymphocytes into T helper type 2 cells. Here we uncover ATM as a novel positive modulator of ITCH E3-ubiquitin ligase activity. A single residue on ITCH protein, S161, which is part of an ATM SQ consensus motif, is required for ATM-dependent activation of ITCH. ATM activity enhances ITCH enzymatic activity, which in turn drives the ubiquitination and degradation of c-FLIP-L and c-Jun, previously identified as ITCH substrates. Importantly, ATM-deficient mice show resistance to hepatocyte cell death, similarly to Itch-deficient animals, providing in vivo genetic evidence for this circuit. Our data identify ITCH as a novel component of the ATM-dependent signaling pathway and suggest that the impairment of the correct functionality of ITCH caused by Atm deficiency may contribute to the complex clinical features linked to Ataxia Telangiectasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1123
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2014


  • Ataxia Telangiectasia
  • ATM kinase
  • c-FLIP-L
  • c-Jun
  • ITCH E3-ubiquitin ligase
  • protein ubiquitination and degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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