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Deregulation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) is considered one of the main causes for malignant renal clear-cell carcinoma (ccRCC) insurgence. In human, pVHL exists in two isoforms, pVHL19 and pVHL30 respectively, displaying comparable tumor suppressor abilities. Mutations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene have been also correlated with ccRCC insurgence and ineffectiveness of treatment. A recent proteomic analysis linked full length pVHL30 with p53 pathway regulation through complex formation with the p14ARF oncosuppressor. The alternatively spliced pVHL19, missing the first 53 residues, lacks this interaction and suggests an asymmetric function of the two pVHL isoforms. Here, we present an integrative bioinformatics and experimental characterization of the pVHL oncosuppressor isoforms. Predictions of the pVHL30 N-terminus three-dimensional structure suggest that it may exist as an ensemble of structured and disordered forms. The results were used to guide Yeast two hybrid experiments to highlight isoform-specific binding properties. We observed that the physical pVHL/p14ARF interaction is specifically mediated by the 53 residue long pVHL30 N-terminal region, suggesting that this N-terminus acts as a further pVHL interaction interface. Of note, we also observed that the shorter pVHL19 isoform shows an unexpected high tendency to form homodimers, suggesting an additional isoform-specific binding specialization.


Giovanni Minervini, Gabriella M Mazzotta, Alessandro Masiero, Elena Sartori, Samantha CorrĂ , Emilio Potenza, Rodolfo Costa, Silvio C E Tosatto. Isoform-specific interactions of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein. Scientific reports. 2015;5:12605

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PMID: 26211615

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