HEY1 is a member of the bHLH-O family of transcription repressors that mediate Notch signalling. HEY1 acts as a positive regulator of the tumour suppressor p53 via still unknown mechanisms. A MALDI-TOF/TOF MS analysis has uncovered a novel HEY1 regulatory phosphorylation event at Ser-68. Strikingly, this single phosphorylation event controls HEY1 stability and function: simulation of HEY1 Ser-68 phosphorylation increases HEY1 protein stability but inhibits its ability to enhance p53 transcriptional activity. Unlike wild-type HEY1, expression of the phosphomimetic mutant HEY1-S68D failed to induce p53-dependent cell cycle arrest and it did not sensitize U2OS cells to p53-activating chemotherapeutic drugs. We have identified two related kinases, STK38 and STK38L, which interact with and phosphorylate HEY1 at Ser-68. HEY1 is phosphorylated at Ser-68 during mitosis and it accumulates in the centrosomes of mitotic cells, suggesting a possible integration of HEY1-dependent signalling in centrosome function. Moreover, HEY1 interacts with a subset of p53-activating ribosomal proteins. Ribosomal stress causes HEY1 relocalization from the nucleoplasm to perinucleolar structures termed nucleolar caps. HEY1 interacts physically with at least one of the ribosomal proteins, RPL11, and both proteins cooperate in the inhibition of MDM2-mediated p53 degradation resulting in a synergistic positive effect on p53 transcriptional activity. HEY1 itself also interacts directly with MDM2 and it is subjected to MDM2-mediated degradation. Simulation of HEY1 Ser-68 phosphorylation prevents its interaction with p53, RPL11 and MDM2 and abolishes HEY1 migration to nucleolar caps upon ribosomal stress. Our findings uncover a novel mechanism for crosstalk between Notch signalling and nucleolar stress
- Ribosomal stress
- ©2016 The Author(s)
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