J Biochem.2020 Nov 1;168(5):445-453.doi: 10.1093/jb/mvaa068.

RNF8 induces autophagy and reduces inflammation by promoting AKT degradation via ubiquitination in ulcerative colitis mice

Yu Zhu  1 Yan Shi  2 Xiquan Ke  1 Lanlan Xuan  3 Zhenzeng Ma  1 Affiliations


RING finger protein 8 (RNF8) is an E3 ligase that is pivotal for DNA repair. However, the role of RNF8 in ulcerative colitis (UC) remains unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect and the mechanism of RNF8 on UC model induced by trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) in mice. Lentiviruses overexpressing RNF8 were injected into mice after the induction of UC. The histopathological changes in colon tissues were assessed by haematoxylin and eosin staining. The mRNA level of RNF8 was detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The protein levels of RNF8, autophagy-related proteins (LC3 and P62) and AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling-related proteins were measured by Western blot. The pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) were examined by immunohistochemical analysis. Immunoprecipitation was performed to analyse the interaction between RNF8 and AKT1. The TNBS-induced UC mice exhibited colonic damage and inflammation, accompanied by decreased RNF8 expression, impaired autophagy and increased phosphorylation levels of AKT and mTOR in the colon. However, these alterations were reversed by RNF8 overexpression. Furthermore, RNF8 bound to AKT1 and mediated its ubiquitination. Collectively, RNF8 overexpression protects against TNBS-induced UC, which might be due to its enhancement of autophagy by suppressing the AKT/mTOR signalling via AKT1 ubiquitination.

Keywords: AKT/mTOR; RNF8; autophagy; ubiquitination; ulcerative colitis.