De-ubiquitinating function of ataxin-3: insights from the solution structure of the Josephin domain
[ATX3_HUMAN] Defects in ATXN3 are the cause of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) [MIM:109150]; also known as Machado-Joseph disease (MJD). Spinocerebellar ataxia is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of cerebellar disorders. Patients show progressive incoordination of gait and often poor coordination of hands, speech and eye movements, due to degeneration of the cerebellum with variable involvement of the brainstem and spinal cord. SCA3 belongs to the autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxias type I (ADCA I) which are characterized by cerebellar ataxia in combination with additional clinical features like optic atrophy, ophthalmoplegia, bulbar and extrapyramidal signs, peripheral neuropathy and dementia. The molecular defect in SCA3 is the a CAG repeat expansion in ATXN3 coding region. Longer expansions result in earlier onset and more severe clinical manifestations of the disease.
[ATX3_HUMAN] Deubiquitinating enzyme involved in protein homeostasis maintenance, transcription, cytoskeleton regulation, myogenesis and degradation of misfolded chaperone substrates. Binds long polyubiquitin chains and trims them, while it has weak or no activity against chains of 4 or less ubiquitins. Involved in degradation of misfolded chaperone substrates via its interaction with STUB1/CHIP: recruited to monoubiquitinated STUB1/CHIP, and restricts the length of ubiquitin chain attached to STUB1/CHIP substrates and preventing further chain extension. In response to misfolded substrate ubiquitination, mediates deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated STUB1/CHIP. Interacts with key regulators of transcription and represses transcription: acts as a histone-binding protein that regulates transcription.  
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 is a human neurodegenerative disease resulting from polyglutamine tract expansion. The affected protein, ataxin-3, which contains an N-terminal Josephin domain followed by tandem ubiquitin (Ub)-interacting motifs (UIMs) and a polyglutamine stretch, has been implicated in the function of the Ub proteasome system. NMR-based structural analysis has now revealed that the Josephin domain binds Ub and has a papain-like fold that is reminiscent of that of other deubiquitinases, despite primary sequence divergence but consistent with its deubiqutinating activity. Mutation of the catalytic Cys enhances the stability of a complex between ataxin-3 and polyubiquitinated proteins. This effect depends on the integrity of the UIM region, suggesting that the UIMs are bound to the substrate polyubiquitin during catalysis. We propose that ataxin-3 functions as a polyubiquitin chain-editing enzyme.
Deubiquitinating function of ataxin-3: insights from the solution structure of the Josephin domain.,Mao Y, Senic-Matuglia F, Di Fiore PP, Polo S, Hodsdon ME, De Camilli P Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 6;102(36):12700-5. Epub 2005 Aug 23. PMID:16118278
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.