Tumor cell proliferation, survival and migration are regulated by the deletion of ovarian carcinoma 2/disabled homolog 2 (DOC-2/DAB2) interacting protein (DAB2IP), a tumor suppressor that serves as a scaffold protein for H-Ras and TRAF2. Importantly, the oncogenic histone methyl-transferase EZH2 epigenetically down-regulates DAB2IP in a variety of tumors. Recently, we demonstrated that DAB2IP is negatively regulated by Akt-dependent phosphorylation and SCFFbw7-mediated degradation. Here, we further identify the oncoprotein Smurf1, an E3-ubiquitin ligase, as a novel negative regulator of DAB2IP. Smurf1-mediated cellular proliferation and migration are largely dependent on the presence of DAB2IP, suggesting that DAB2IP is a key effector molecule of Smurf1 oncogenic function. Additionally, we identify that similar to DAB2IP, Smurf1 is also a target of phosphorylation by both Akt1 and Akt2 kinases, which enhances Smurf1 abundance, leading to a reduction in DAB2IP. Given the role of DAB2IP in tumorigenesis and metastasis, our data identify Smurf1 as an upstream oncogenic factor that negatively regulates DAB2IP to govern aberrant cell growth and migration.
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