Nedd8 is a small ubiquitin-like protein that can be conjugated to substrate-proteins in a process known as neddylation. Although neddylation plays a critical regulatory role in cell proliferation and development, the spectrum of Nedd8 substrates and its interaction network remain poorly understood. To explore the neddylation pathway at the proteome level, we have affinity purified Nedd8 modified and associated proteins from HEK293 cells stably expressing GST-Nedd8 and employed LC-MS/MS for subsequent protein identification. A total of 496 GST-Nedd8 modified and associated proteins have been identified, including all of the eight cullin family members (i.e., Cul-1, -2, -3, -4A, -4B, -5, -7, and Parc) that are involved in the neddylation and ubiquitin-proteasome degradation pathway. In addition, a group of proteins involved in transcription, DNA repair and replication, cell cycle regulation and chromatin organization, and remodeling have been copurified and identified. Apart from protein identification, the neddylation sites of cullins were determined by MS/MS analysis, which agree well with previous mutagenesis studies. Furthermore, MS analyses revealed that Nedd8 K11, K22, K48, and K60 can form chains in vivo, whereas Nedd8 K22 and K48 can be neddylated in vitro. These results present the first molecular evidence for in vitro and in vivo polyneddylation, suggesting that chain formation of ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins may be a general phenomenon for these modifications. Although much remains to be explored for the biological significance of the observations, this work provides critically important information regarding Nedd8 chain assembly and its interaction network. The vast amount of proteomic information obtained here can provide clues on the biological role of Nedd8 and lay the foundation for an in-depth analysis of the regulation of the Nedd8 pathway.
- Affinity purification
- Cullin-containing ubiquitin ligase
- Mass spectrometry
- Nedd8 interaction network
- Ubiquitin-like protein