IκB kinase ε (IKKε, IKBKE) is a key regulator of innate immunity and a breast cancer oncogene, amplified in ~30% of breast cancers, that promotes malignant transformation through NF-κB activation. Here, we show that IKKε is modified and regulated by K63-linked polyubiquitination at lysine 30 and lysine 401. Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1β stimulation induces IKKε K63-linked polyubiquitination over baseline levels in both macrophages and breast cancer cell lines, and this modification is essential for IKKε kinase activity, IKKε-mediated NF-κB activation, and IKKε-induced malignant transformation. Disruption of K63-linked ubiquitination of IKKε does not affect its overall structure but impairs the recruitment of canonical NF-κB proteins. A cIAP1/cIAP2/TRAF2 E3 ligase complex binds to and ubiquitinates IKKε. Altogether, these observations demonstrate that K63-linked polyubiquitination regulates IKKε activity in both inflammatory and oncogenic contexts and suggests an alternative approach to targeting this breast cancer oncogene © 2013 The Authors.
Zhou, A. Y., Shen, R. R., Kim, E., Lock, Y. J., Xu, M., Chen, Z. J., & Hahn, W. C. (2013). IKKε-Mediated Tumorigenesis Requires K63-Linked Polyubiquitination by a cIAP1/cIAP2/TRAF2 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Complex. Cell Reports, 3(3), 724–733. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2013.01.031