RNF11 is a GGA protein cargo and acts as a molecular adaptor for GGA3 ubiquitination mediated by Itch

E. Santonico, A. Mattioni, S. Panni, F. Belleudi, M. Mattei, M. R. Torrisi, G. Cesareni, L. Castagnoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ring finger protein 11 (RNF11) is a RING (really interesting new gene)-H2 E3 ligase that is overexpressed in several human tumor tissues. The mature protein, which is anchored to membranes via a double acylation, localizes to early endosome and recycling compartments. Apart from its subcellular localization, additional lines of evidence implicate RNF11 in the mechanisms underlying vesicle traffic. Here we identify two acidic-cluster dileucine (Ac-LL) motifs, which are recognized by the VHS domains of Golgi-localized, gamma adaptin era-containing, ADP-ribosylation factor-binding protein (GGA) adaptors, as the molecular determinants governing RNF11 sorting at the trans-Golgi network and its internalization from the plasma membrane. We also show that RNF11 recruits itch to drive the ubiquitination of GGA3. This function is experimentally detectable only in cells overexpressing an RNF11 variant that is inactivated in the RING domain, indicating that RNF11 recruits GGA3 and controls its ubiquitination by regulating itch activity. Accordingly, our data demonstrate the involvement of itch in regulating GGA3 stability. Indeed, we observe that the endogenous levels of GGA3 are increased in cells knocked down for itch and endogenous GGA3 is hyperubiquitinated in an itch-dependent manner in a cell line expressing catalytically inactive RNF11. Our data are consistent with a model whereby the RING E3 ligase RNF11 is a novel GGA cargo actively participating in regulating the ubiquitination of the GGA protein family. The results that we are presenting put RNF11 at the center of a finally regulated system where it acts both as an adaptor and a modulator of itch-mediated control of ubiquitination events underlying membrane traffic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3377-3390
Number of pages14
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)


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