The MAP3K13-TRIM25-FBXW7α axis affects c-Myc protein stability and tumor development.


Hubei Key Laboratory of Cell Homeostasis, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, 430072, Wuhan, China. [Email]


c-Myc (Myc) is a master transcription factor that is often deregulated and highly expressed by at least 50% of cancers. In many cases, Myc protein levels correlate with resistance to therapy and poor prognosis. However, effective direct inhibition of Myc by pharmacologic approaches has remained unachievable. Here, we identify MAP3K13 as a positive regulator of Myc to promote tumor development. Our findings show that MAP3K13 upregulation is predictive of poor outcomes in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Mechanistically, MAP3K13 phosphorylates the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM25 at Ser12 to decrease its polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. This newly stabilized TRIM25 then directly ubiquitinates Lys412 of FBXW7α, a core subunit of the SKP1-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex involved in Myc ubiquitination, thereby stabilizing Myc. Together, these results reveal a novel regulatory pathway that supervises Myc protein stability via the MAP3K13-TRIM25-FBXW7α signaling axis. In addition, they provide a potential therapeutic target in Myc over-expressing human cancers.