Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DBC1 - an inactive enzyme that functions as a signal integrator

Deleted in Breast Cancer-1 (DBC1) and its paralog CARP-1 are large multi-domain proteins, with a nuclear or perinuclear localization, and a role in promoting apoptosis upon processing by caspases. Recent studies on human DBC1 show that it is a specific inhibitor of the sirtuin-type deacetylase, Sirt1, which deacetylates histones and p53. However, the exact mechanism of action of these proteins has largely remained mysterious.

Using sensitive computational methods we showed that the central conserved globular domain present in the DBC1 and CARP-1 is a catalytically inactive version of the Nudix hydrolase (MutT) domain. Given that Nudix domains are known to bind nucleoside diphosphate sugars and NAD, we predict that this domain in DBC1 and its homologs binds NAD metabolites such as ADP-ribose. Hence, we developed a model that DBC1 and its homologs are likely to regulate the activity of SIRT1 or related deacetylases by sensing the soluble products or substrates of the NAD-dependent deacetylation reaction. The complex domain architectures of the members of the DBC1 family, which include fusions to the RNA-binding S1-like domain, the DNA-binding SAP domain and EF-hand domains, suggest that they are likely to function as integrators of distinct regulatory signals including chromatin protein modification, soluble compounds in NAD metabolism, apoptotic stimuli and RNA recognition.

You can read the open access version of this paper here