The NEDD4 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases includes nine members. Each is a modular protein, containing an N-terminal C2 domain for cell localization, two-to-four central WW domains for substrate recognition, and a C-terminal, catalytic HECT domain, which is responsible for catalyzing the ubiquitylation reaction. Members of this family are known to affect pathways central to the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer, including the WNT, TGFβ, EGFR, and p53 pathways. Recently, NEDD4 mRNA was reported to be overexpressed in colorectal cancer, but tumor stage was not considered in the analysis. Expression of the other family members has not been studied in colorectal cancer. Herein, we determined the expression patterns of all nine NEDD4 family members in 256 patients who presented with disease ranging from premalignant adenoma to stage IV colorectal cancer. NEDD4 mRNA was significantly increased in all stages of colorectal cancer. In contrast, NEDD4L mRNA, the closest homolog to NEDD4, was the most highly downregulated family member, and was significantly downregulated in all tumor stages. We also found NEDD4L protein was significantly decreased by western blotting in colorectal cancer samples compared to adjacent normal mucosa. In addition, NEDD4L, but not catalytically inactive NEDD4L, inhibited canonical WNT signaling at or below the level of b-catenin in vitro. These findings suggest that NEDD4L may play a tumor suppressive role in colorectal cancer, possibly through inhibition of canonical WNT signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)