Novel polyubiquitin imaging system, PolyUb-FC, reveals that K33-linked polyubiquitin is recruited by SQSTM1/p62

<p>Ubiquitin chains are formed with 8 structurally and functionally distinct polymers. However, the functions of each polyubiquitin remain poorly understood. We developed a polyubiquitin-mediated fluorescence complementation (PolyUb-FC) assay using Kusabira Green (KG) as a split fluorescent protein. The PolyUb-FC assay has the advantage that monoubiquitination is nonfluorescent and chain-specific poly-ubiquitination can be directly visualized in living cells without using antibodies. We applied the PolyUb-FC assay to examine K33-linked polyubiquitin. We demonstrated that SQSTM1/p62 puncta colocalized with K33-linked polyubiquitin and this interaction was modulated by the ZRANB1/TRABID-K29 and -K33 linkage-specific deubiquitinase (DUB). We further showed that the colocalization of K33-linked polyubiquitin and MAP1LC3/LC3 (microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3) puncta was impaired by SQSTM1/p62 deficiency. Taken together, these findings provide novel insights into how atypical polyubiquitin is recruited by SQSTM1/p62. Finally, we developed an inducible-PolyUb-FC system for visualizing chain-specific polyubiquitin. The PolyUb-FC will be a useful tool for analyzing the dynamics of atypical polyubiquitin chain generation.</p>