von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a hereditary cancer syndrome that is characterized by the development of multiple vascular tumors and is caused by inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau protein (pVHL). Here we show that pVHL, through its β-domain, binds directly to hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), thereby targeting HIF for ubiquitination in an α-domain-dependent manner. This is the first function to be ascribed to the pVHL β-domain. Furthermore, we provide the first direct evidence that pVHL has a function analogous to that of an F-box protein, namely, to recruit substrates to a ubiquitination machine. These results strengthen the link between overaccumulation of HIF and development of VHL disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology