Hdm2 is a ubiquitin ligase of Ku70-Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting Hdm2-dependent Ku70 destabilization

V. Gama, J. A. Gomez, L. D. Mayo, M. W. Jackson, D. Danielpour, K. Song, A. L. Haas, M. J. Laughlin, S. Matsuyama

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29 Scopus citations


Earlier, we have reported that 70kDa subunit of Ku protein heterodimer (Ku70) binds and inhibits Bax activity in the cytosol and that ubiquitin (Ub)-dependent proteolysis of cytosolic Ku70 facilitates Bax-mediated apoptosis. We found that Hdm2 (human homolog of murine double minute) has an ability to ubiquitinate Ku70 and that Hdm2 overexpression in cultured cells causes a decrease in Ku70 expression levels. An interaction between Ku70 and Hdm2 was shown by means of immunoprecipitation, whereas none could be shown between 80kDa subunit of Ku protein heterodimer and Hdm2. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to inhibit endothelial cell (EC) apoptosis through an Akt-mediated survival kinase signal; however, the mechanism underlying this inhibition of apoptosis has not been fully elucidated. We found that VEGF inhibited cytosolic Ku70 degradation induced by apoptotic stress. It is known that Akt-dependent phosphorylation of Hdm2 causes nuclear translocation of Hdm2 followed by Hdm2-mediated inactivation of p53. We found that VEGF stimulated nuclear translocation of Hdm2 in EC and efficiently inhibited Ku70 degradation. We also found that constitutively active Akt, but not kinase-dead Akt, inhibited Ku70 degradation in the cytosol. Furthermore, Ku70 knockdown diminished antiapoptotic activity of Akt. Taken together, we propose that Hdm2 is a Ku70 Ub ligase and that Akt inhibits Bax-mediated apoptosis, at least in part, by maintaining Ku70 levels through the promotion of Hdm2 nuclear translocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-769
Number of pages12
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Gama, V., Gomez, J. A., Mayo, L. D., Jackson, M. W., Danielpour, D., Song, K., Haas, A. L., Laughlin, M. J., & Matsuyama, S. (2009). Hdm2 is a ubiquitin ligase of Ku70-Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting Hdm2-dependent Ku70 destabilization. Cell Death and Differentiation, 16(5), 758-769. https://doi.org/10.1038/cdd.2009.6