UBE2M is a stress-inducible dual E2 for neddylation and ubiquitylation that promotes targeted degradation of UBE2F. Weihua Zhou et al.
UBE2M and UBE2F are two family members of neddylation E2 conjugating enzyme that, together with E3s, activate CRLs (Cullin-RING Ligases) by catalyzing cullin neddylation. However, whether and how two E2s cross-talk with each other are largely unknown. Here, we report that UBE2M is a stress-inducible gene subjected to cis-transactivation by HIF-1α and AP1, and MLN4924, a small molecule inhibitor of E1 NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE), up-regulates UBE2M via blocking degradation of HIF-1α and AP1. UBE2M is a dual E2 for targeted ubiquitylation and degradation of UBE2F, acting as a neddylation E2 to activate CUL3-Keap1 E3 under physiological condition, but as an ubiquitylation E2 for Parkin-DJ-1 E3 under stressed conditions. UBE2M-induced UBE2F degradation leads to CRL5 inactivation and subsequent NOXA accumulation to suppress the growth of lung cancer cells. Collectively, our study establishes a negative regulatory axis between two neddylation E2s with UBE2M ubiquitylating UBE2F, and two CRLs with CRL3 inactivating CRL5.