CUL7 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Mediates the Degradation of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase and Regulates the Ig Class Switch Recombination in B Lymphocytes.


Institute of Human Virology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China; [Email] [Email]


Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation in Ig genes. The activity and protein levels of AID are tightly controlled by various mechanisms. In this study, we found that CUL7 E3 ubiquitin ligases specifically mediated AID ubiquitination. CUL7 overexpression or knockdown influenced the decay of AID, affecting AID protein levels and subsequently IgA class switching in CH12F3 cells, a mouse B lymphocyte cell line. Further analysis indicated that CUL7 mediated AID ubiquitination by forming a complex with FBXW11. In a CUL7fl/flCD19cre+ mouse model, we demonstrated that CUL7 knockout significantly enhanced AID protein levels in B cells in the germinal center and increased both the IgG1 and IgA class switching. Collectively, our results reveal a subtle regulation mechanism for tightly controlling AID protein levels. The manipulation of this pathway may be useful for regulating AID abundance and efficiency of Ig class switching and is therefore a potential target for developing immunologic adjuvants for vaccines of various pathogens such as HIV-1 and influenza viruses.