The HECT (Homologous to the E6-AP Carboxyl Terminus)-family protein E6AP (E6-associated protein), encoded by the UBE3A
gene, is a multifaceted ubiquitin ligase that controls diverse signaling pathways involved in cancer and neurological disorders. The oncogenic role of E6AP in papillomavirus-induced cancers is well known, with its action to trigger p53 degradation in complex with the E6 viral oncoprotein. However, the roles of E6AP in non-viral cancers remain poorly defined. It is well established that loss-of-function alterations of the UBE3A
gene cause Angelman syndrome, a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance modified by genomic imprinting on chromosome 15q. Moreover, excess dosage of the UBE3A
gene markedly increases the penetrance of autism spectrum disorders, suggesting that the expression level of UBE3A must be regulated tightly within a physiologically tolerated range during brain development. In this review, current the knowledge about the substrates of E6AP-mediated ubiquitination and their functions in cancer and neurological disorders is discussed, alongside with the ongoing efforts to pharmacologically modulate this ubiquitin ligase as a promising therapeutic target.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited