Ubiquitin-like protein 3 (UBL3) is required for MARCH ubiquitination of major histocompatibility complex class II and CD86

Haiyin Liu, Kayla R. Wilson, Ashley M. Firth, Christophe Macri, Patrick Schriek, Annabelle B. Blum, Javiera Villar, Samuel Wormald, Mitch Shambrook, Bangyan Xu, Hui Jing Lim, Hamish E.G. McWilliam, Andrew F. Hill, Laura E. Edgington-Mitchell, Irina Caminschi, Mireille H. Lahoud, Elodie Segura, Marco J. Herold, Jose A. Villadangos, Justine D. Mintern

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The MARCH E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase MARCH1 regulates trafficking of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) and CD86, molecules of critical importance to immunity. Here we show, using a genome-wide CRISPR knockout screen, that ubiquitin-like protein 3 (UBL3) is a necessary component of ubiquitination-mediated trafficking of these molecules in mice and in humans. Ubl3-deficient mice have elevated MHC II and CD86 expression on the surface of professional and atypical antigen presenting cells. UBL3 also regulates MHC II and CD86 in human dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages. UBL3 impacts ubiquitination of MARCH1 substrates, a mechanism that requires UBL3 plasma membrane anchoring via prenylation. Loss of UBL3 alters adaptive immunity with impaired development of thymic regulatory T cells, loss of conventional type 1 DCs, increased number of trogocytic marginal zone B cells, and defective in vivo MHC II and MHC I antigen presentation. In summary, we identify UBL3 as a conserved, critical factor in MARCH1-mediated ubiquitination with important roles in immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1934
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2022

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