E3 ubiquitin (UB) ligases E4B and carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP) use a common U-box motif to transfer UB from E1 and E2 enzymes to their substrate proteins and regulate diverse cellular processes. To profile their ubiquitination targets in the cell, we used phage display to engineer E2-E4B and E2-CHIP pairs that were free of cross-reactivity with the native UB transfer cascades. We then used the engineered E2-E3 pairs to construct “orthogonal UB transfer (OUT)” cascades so that a mutant UB (xUB) could be exclusively used by the engineered E4B or CHIP to label their substrate proteins. Purification of xUB-conjugated proteins followed by proteomics analysis enabled the identification of hundreds of potential substrates of E4B and CHIP in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Kinase MAPK3 (mitogen-activated protein kinase 3), methyltransferase PRMT1 (protein arginine N-methyltransferase 1), and phosphatase PPP3CA (protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit alpha) were identified as the shared substrates of the two E3s. Phosphatase PGAM5 (phosphoglycerate mutase 5) and deubiquitinase OTUB1 (ovarian tumor domain containing ubiquitin aldehyde binding protein 1) were confirmed as E4B substrates, and b-catenin and CDK4 (cyclin-dependent kinase 4) were confirmed as CHIP substrates. On the basis of the CHIP-CDK4 circuit identified by OUT, we revealed that CHIP signals CDK4 degradation in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress.
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