Several ubiquitin ligases mediate c-Jun degradation. However, c-Jun can be stabilized once it is phosphorylated at the N-terminus by c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) or other protein kinases.
This phosphorylation decreases c-Jun ubiquitination and degradation.
The underlying mechanism for this phenomenon is still unknown. Here, we show that receptor for activated C-kinase 1 (Rack1) can bind with c-Jun and ubiquitin ligase Fbw7 to form a complex.
When c-Jun is phosphorylated at the N-terminus, c-Jun is released from the complex and cannot be ubiquitinated by Fbw7, which leads to increased stabilization and accumulation of c-Jun. These results reveal that Rack1 has a very important role in tumorigenesis by maintaining the stability of c-Jun that has been phosphorylated at its N-terminus by JNKs or other kinases.