Parkin targets HIF-1α for ubiquitination and degradation to inhibit breast tumor progression

Juan Liu, Cen Zhang, Yuhan Zhao, Xuetian Yue, Hao Wu, Shan Huang, James Chen, Kyle Tomsky, Haiyang Xie, Christen A. Khella, Michael L. Gatza, Dajing Xia, Jimin Gao, Eileen White, Bruce G. Haffty, Wenwei Hu, Zhaohui Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Mutations in E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin have been linked to familial Parkinson's disease. Accumulating evidence suggests that Parkin is a tumor suppressor, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here we show that Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase for hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Parkin interacts with HIF-1α and promotes HIF-1α degradation through ubiquitination, which in turn inhibits metastasis of breast cancer cells. Parkin downregulation in breast cancer cells promotes metastasis, which can be inhibited by targeting HIF-1α with RNA interference or the small-molecule inhibitor YC-1. We further identify lysine 477 (K477) of HIF-1α as a major ubiquitination site for Parkin. K477R HIF-1α mutation and specific cancer-Associated Parkin mutations largely abolish the functions of Parkin to ubiquitinate HIF-1α and inhibit cancer metastasis. Importantly, Parkin expression is inversely correlated with HIF-1α expression and metastasis in breast cancer. Our results reveal an important mechanism for Parkin in tumor suppression and HIF-1α regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1823
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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