Subcellular localisation modulates ubiquitylation and degradation of Ascl1.

16 May 2018

The proneural transcription factor Ascl1 is a master regulator of neurogenesis, coordinating proliferation and differentiation in the central nervous system. While its expression is well characterised, post-translational regulation is much less well understood. Here we demonstrate that a population of chromatin-bound Ascl1 can be found associated with short chains of ubiquitin while cytoplasmic Ascl1 harbours much longer ubiquitin chains. Only cytoplasmic ubiquitylation targets Ascl1 for destruction, which occurs by conjugation of ubiquitin to lysines in the basic helix-loop-helix domain of Ascl1 and requires the E3 ligase Huwe1. In contrast, chromatin-bound Ascl1 associated with short ubiquitin-chains, which can occur on lysines within the N-terminal region or the bHLH domain and is not mediated by Huwe1, is not targeted for ubiquitin-mediated destruction. We therefore offer further insights into post-translational regulation of Ascl1, highlighting complex regulation of ubiquitylation and degradation in the cytoplasm and on chromatin.