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Isoprenylation of RhoB is necessary for its degradation. A novel determinant in the complex regulation of RhoB expression by the mevalonate pathway

AuthorsStamatakis, Konstantinos ; Cernuda-Morollón, Eva; Hernández-Perera, Octavio; Pérez-Sala, Dolores
Issue Date1-Jul-2014
AbstractStatins improve vascular functions by mechanisms independent from their cholesterol-lowering effect. Rho GTPases are emerging as key targets for the vascular effects of statins. RhoB is a short-lived, early-response inducible protein involved in receptor endocytosis, apoptosis, and gene expression. Here we show that statins regulate RhoB expression by acting at multiple levels. Simvastatin increased RhoB protein levels by 8- to 10- fold. This effect was related to a depletion of isoprenoid intermediates, as deduced from the observation that several metabolites of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, namely, mevalonate and geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate, attenuated simvastatin-induced RhoB up-regulation. Moreover, prenyltransferase inhibitors mimicked simvastatin effect. Cholesterol supplementation did not prevent simvastatin-elicited up-regulation but increased RhoB levels per se. Simvastatin moderately augmented RhoB transcript levels, but markedly impaired the degradation of RhoB protein, which accumulated in the cytosol in its non-isoprenylated form. Inhibition of RhoB isoprenylation was apparently required for simvastatin-induced up-regulation, because levels of an isoprenylation- deficient RhoB mutant were not affected by simvastatin. Moreover, this mutant was found to be markedly more stable than the wild-type protein. These results show that RhoB isoprenylation is necessary for rapid turnover of this protein and identify a novel link between the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and the regulation of G-protein expression.
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