Torrino S, Visvikis O, Doye A, Boyer L, Stefani C, Munro P, Bertoglio J, Gacon G, Mettouchi A, Lemichez E
Dev. Cell 2011 Nov;21(5):959-65
Rac1 small GTPase controls essential aspects of cell biology and is a direct target of numerous bacterial virulence factors. The CNF1 toxin of pathogenic Escherichia coli addresses Rac1 to ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). We report the essential role of the tumor suppressor HACE1, a HECT-domain containing E3 ubiquitin-ligase, in the targeting of Rac1 to UPS. HACE1 binds preferentially GTP-bound Rac1 and catalyzes its polyubiquitylation. HACE1 expression increases the ubiquitylation of Rac1, when the GTPase is activated by point mutations or by the GEF-domain of Dbl. RNAi-mediated depletion of HACE1 blocks the ubiquitylation of active Rac1 and increases GTP-bound Rac1 cellular levels. HACE1 antagonizes cell isotropic spreading, a hallmark of Rac1 activation, and is required for endothelial cell monolayer invasion by bacteria. Together, these data establish the role of the HACE1 E3 ubiquitin-ligase in controlling Rac1 ubiquitylation and activity.