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    Pirh2 is an E3 ligase belonging to the RING-H2 family and shown to bind, ubiquitinate and downregulate p73 tumor suppressor function without altering p73 protein levels. AIP4, an E3 ligase belonging to the HECT domain family, has been reported to be a negative regulatory protein that promotes p73 ubiquitination and degradation. Herein, we found that Pirh2 is a key regulator of AIP4 that inhibits p73 function. Pirh2 physically interacts with AIP4 and significantly downregulates AIP4 expression. This downregulation is shown to involve the ubiquitination of AIP4 by Pirh2. Importantly, we demonstrated that the ectopic expression of Pirh2 inhibits the AIP4-p73 negative regulatory pathway, which was restored when depleting endogenous Pirh2 utilizing Pirh2-siRNAs. We further observed that Pirh2 decreases AIP4-mediated p73 ubiquitination. At the translational level and specifically regarding p73 cell cycle arrest function, Pirh2 still ensures the arrest of p73-mediated G1 despite AIP4 expression. Our study reveals a novel link between two E3 ligases previously thought to be unrelated in regulating the same effector substrate, p73. These findings open a gateway to explain how E3 ligases differentiate between regulating multiple substrates that may belong to the same family of proteins, as it is the case for the p53 and p73 proteins. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:


    Rami Abou Zeinab, H Helena Wu, Yasser Abuetabh, Sarah Leng, Consolato Sergi, David D Eisenstat, Roger P Leng. Pirh2, an E3 ligase, regulates the AIP4-p73 regulatory pathway by modulating AIP4 expression and ubiquitination. Carcinogenesis. 2021 Apr 30;42(4):650-662

    PMID: 33569599

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