Multiubiquitination of TRPV4 reduces channel activity independent of surface localization

William H. Aisenberg, Brett A. McCray, Jeremy M. Sullivan, Erika Diehl, Lauren R. DeVine, Jonathan Alevy, Anna M. Bagnell, Patrice Carr, Jack K. Donohue, Benedikt Goretzki, Robert N. Cole, Ute A. Hellmich, Charlotte J. Sumner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ubiquitin (Ub)-mediated regulation of plasmalemmal ion channel activity canonically occurs via stimulation of endocytosis. Whether ubiquitination can modulate channel activity by alternative mechanisms remains unknown. Here, we show that the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) cation channel is multiubiquitinated within its cytosolic N-terminal and C-terminal intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). Mutagenizing select lysine residues to block ubiquitination of the N-terminal but not C-terminal IDR resulted in a marked elevation of TRPV4-mediated intracellular calcium influx, without increasing cell surface expression levels. Conversely, enhancing TRPV4 ubiquitination via expression of an E3 Ub ligase reduced TRPV4 channel activity but did not decrease plasma membrane abundance. These results demonstrate Ubdependent regulation of TRPV4 channel function independent of effects on plasma membrane localization. Consistent with ubiquitination playing a key negative modulatory role of the channel, gain-of-function neuropathy-causing mutations in the TRPV4 gene led to reduced channel ubiquitination in both cellular and Drosophila models of TRPV4 neuropathy, whereas increasing mutant TRPV4 ubiquitination partially suppressed channel overactivity. Together, these data reveal a novel mechanism via which ubiquitination of an intracellular flexible IDR domain modulates ion channel function independently of endocytic trafficking and identify a contributory role for this pathway in the dysregulation of TRPV4 channel activity by neuropathy-causing mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101826
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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