Linear ubiquitin chains, which are generated specifically by the linear ubiquitin assembly complex (LUBAC) ubiquitin ligase, play crucial roles in immune signaling, including NF-κB activation. LUBAC comprises catalytic large isoform of heme-oxidized iron regulatory protein 2 ubiquitin ligase 1 (HOIL-1L) interacting protein (HOIP), accessory HOIL-1L, and SHANK-associated RH domain-interacting protein (SHARPIN). Deletion of the ubiquitin ligase activity of HOIL-1L, an accessory ligase of LUBAC, augments LUBAC functions by enhancing LUBAC-mediated linear ubiquitination, which is catalyzed by HOIP. Here, we show that HOIL-1L ΔRING1 mice, which exhibit augmented LUBAC functions upon loss of the HOIL-1L ligase, developed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren’s syndrome in a female-dominant fashion. Augmented LUBAC activity led to hyperactivation of both lymphoid and myeloid cells. In line with the findings in mice, we sought to identify missense single nucleotide polymorphisms/variations of the RBCK1/HOIL-1L gene in humans that attenuate HOIL-1L ligase activity. We found that the R464H variant, which is encoded by rs774507518 within the RBCK1/HOIL-1L gene, attenuated HOIL-1L ligase activity and augmented LUBAC-mediated immune signaling, including that mediated by Toll-like receptors. We also found that rs774507518 was enriched significantly in patients with SLE, strongly suggesting that RBCK1/HOIL-1L is an SLE susceptibility gene and that augmented linear ubiquitin signaling generated specifically by LUBAC underlies the pathogenesis of this prototype systemic autoimmune disease.


Yasuhiro Fuseya, Keiichiro Kadoba, Xiaoxi Liu, Hiroyuki Suetsugu, Takeshi Iwasaki, Koichiro Ohmura, Takayuki Sumida, Yuta Kochi, Akio Morinobu, Chikashi Terao, Kazuhiro Iwai


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