Cell cycle-dependent phosphorylation regulates RECQL4 pathway choice and ubiquitination in DNA double-strand break repair.
Lu Huiming,Shamanna Raghavendra A,de Freitas Jessica K,Okur Mustafa,Khadka Prabhat,Kulikowicz Tomasz,Holland Priscella P,Tian Jane,Croteau Deborah L,Davis Anthony J,Bohr Vilhelm A
Pathway choice within DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair is a tightly regulated process to maintain genome integrity. RECQL4, deficient in Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome, promotes the two major DSB repair pathways, non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). Here we report that RECQL4 promotes and coordinates NHEJ and HR in different cell cycle phases. RECQL4 interacts with Ku70 to promote NHEJ in G1 when overall cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activity is low. During S/G2 phases, CDK1 and CDK2 (CDK1/2) phosphorylate RECQL4 on serines 89 and 251, enhancing MRE11/RECQL4 interaction and RECQL4 recruitment to DSBs. After phosphorylation, RECQL4 is ubiquitinated by the DDB1-CUL4A E3 ubiquitin ligase, which facilitates its accumulation at DSBs. Phosphorylation of RECQL4 stimulates its helicase activity, promotes DNA end resection, increases HR and cell survival after ionizing radiation, and prevents cellular senescence. Collectively, we propose that RECQL4 modulates the pathway choice of NHEJ and HR in a cell cycle-dependent manner.
CUL4-DDB1-CRBN E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Regulates Proteostasis of ClC-2 Chloride Channels: Implication for Aldosteronism and Leukodystrophy.
Fu Ssu-Ju,Hu Meng-Chun,Peng Yi-Jheng,Fang Hsin-Yu,Hsiao Cheng-Tsung,Chen Tsung-Yu,Jeng Chung-Jiuan,Tang Chih-Yung
Voltage-gated ClC-2 channels are essential for chloride homeostasis. Complete knockout of mouse ClC-2 leads to testicular degeneration and neuronal myelin vacuolation. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations in the ClC-2-encoding human gene are linked to the genetic diseases aldosteronism and leukodystrophy, respectively. The protein homeostasis (proteostasis) mechanism of ClC-2 is currently unclear. Here, we aimed to identify the molecular mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of ClC-2, and to explore the pathophysiological significance of disease-associated anomalous ClC-2 proteostasis. In both heterologous expression system and native neuronal and testicular cells, ClC-2 is subject to significant regulation by cullin-RING E3 ligase-mediated polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. The cullin 4 (CUL4)-damage-specific DNA binding protein 1 (DDB1)-cereblon (CRBN) E3 ubiquitin ligase co-exists in the same complex with and promotes the degradation of ClC-2 channels. The CRBN-targeting immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide and the cullin E3 ligase inhibitor MLN4924 promotes and attenuates, respectively, proteasomal degradation of ClC-2. Analyses of disease-related ClC-2 mutants reveal that aldosteronism and leukodystrophy are associated with opposite alterations in ClC-2 proteostasis. Modifying CUL4 E3 ligase activity with lenalidomide and MLN4924 ameliorates disease-associated ClC-2 proteostasis abnormality. Our results highlight the significant role and therapeutic potential of CUL4 E3 ubiquitin ligase in regulating ClC-2 proteostasis.
CRL4A degrades DNA-PKcs to modulate NHEJ repair and induce genomic instability and subsequent malignant transformation.
Feng Maoxiao,Wang Yunshan,Bi Lei,Zhang Pengju,Wang Huaizhi,Zhao Zhongxi,Mao Jian-Hua,Wei Guangwei
Genomic instability induced by DNA damage and improper DNA damage repair is one of the main causes of malignant transformation and tumorigenesis. DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are the most detrimental form of DNA damage, and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) mechanisms play dominant and priority roles in initiating DSB repair. A well-studied oncogene, the ubiquitin ligase Cullin 4A (CUL4A), is reported to be recruited to DSB sites in genomic DNA, but whether it regulates NHEJ mechanisms of DSB repair is unclear. Here, we discovered that the CUL4A-DTL ligase complex targeted the DNA-PKcs protein in the NHEJ repair pathway for nuclear degradation. Overexpression of either CUL4A or DTL reduced NHEJ repair efficiency and subsequently increased the accumulation of DSBs. Moreover, we demonstrated that overexpression of either CUL4A or DTL in normal cells led to genomic instability and malignant proliferation. Consistent with the in vitro findings, in human precancerous lesions, CUL4A expression gradually increased with increasing malignant tendency and was negatively correlated with DNA-PKcs and positively correlated with γ-H2AX expression. Collectively, this study provided strong evidence that the CUL4A-DTL axis increases genomic instability and enhances the subsequent malignant transformation of normal cells by inhibiting NHEJ repair. These results also suggested that CUL4A may be a prognostic marker of precancerous lesions and a potential therapeutic target in cancer.
Sp1 is a substrate of Keap1 and regulates the activity of CRL4A ubiquitin ligase toward Nrf2.
Siswanto Ferbian Milas,Oguro Ami,Imaoka Susumu
The Journal of biological chemistry
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a critical transcription factor that orchestrates cellular responses to oxidative stress. Because the dysregulation of Nrf2 has been implicated in many diseases, precise regulation of its protein level is crucial for maintaining homeostasis. Kelch-like-ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) and WD40 repeat protein 23 (WDR23) directly regulate Nrf2 levels via similar but distinct proteasome-dependent pathways. WDR23 forms a part of the WDR23-Cullin 4A-RING ubiquitin ligase complex (CRL4A), whereas Keap1 serves as a substrate adaptor for the Cullin 3-containing ubiquitin ligase complex. However, the mechanisms underlying crosstalk between these Keap1 and WDR23 pathways for the regulation of Nrf2 levels have not been investigated. Here, we showed that knockdown (KD) of Keap1 upregulated the expression of Cullin4A (CUL4A) in a specificity protein 1 (Sp1)-dependent manner. We also revealed that Sp1 interacted with Keap1, leading to ubiquitination of Sp1. Increases in Sp1 by Keap1 KD triggered Sp1 binding to the fourth Sp1 binding site (Sp1_M4) within the -230/+50 region of the CUL4A gene. We also demonstrated that the overexpression and KD of Sp1 reduced and increased Nrf2 protein levels, respectively. These effects were abrogated by the WDR23 KD, suggesting that Sp1 also regulates Nrf2 levels via the ubiquitin ligase complex CRL4A. In conclusion, we discovered Sp1 as a novel substrate of Keap1 and provided evidence that Sp1 regulates the expression of CUL4A. We revealed a novel role for Sp1 in mediating crosstalk between two independent regulators of Nrf2 protein levels.
OTUD1 Activates Caspase-Independent and Caspase-Dependent Apoptosis by Promoting AIF Nuclear Translocation and MCL1 Degradation.
Luo Qingyu,Wu Xiaowei,Zhao Pengfei,Nan Yabing,Chang Wan,Zhu Xiaolin,Su Dan,Liu Zhihua
Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany)
Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) plays a dual role in regulating cell survival and apoptosis, acting as a prosurvival factor in mitochondria via its NADH oxidoreductase activity and activating the caspase-independent apoptotic pathway (i.e., parthanatos) after nuclear translocation. However, whether one factor conjunctively controls the separated functions of AIF is not clear. Here, it is shown that OTU deubiquitinase 1 (OTUD1) acts as a link between the two functions of AIF via deubiquitination events. Deubiquitination of AIF at K244 disrupts the normal mitochondrial structure and compromises oxidative phosphorylation, and deubiquitination of AIF at K255 enhances its DNA-binding ability to promote parthanatos. Moreover, OTUD1 stabilizes DDB1 and CUL4 associated factor 10 (DCAF10) and recruits the cullin 4A (CUL4A)-damage specific DNA binding protein 1 (DDB1) complex to promote myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (MCL1) degradation, thereby activating caspase-dependent apoptotic signaling. Collectively, these results reveal the central role of OTUD1 in activating both caspase-independent and caspase-dependent apoptotic signaling and propose decreased OTUD1 expression as a key event promoting chemoresistance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
The Mediator subunit MED20 organizes the early adipogenic complex to promote development of adipose tissues and diet-induced obesity.
Tang Wen-Shuai,Weng Li,Wang Xu,Liu Chang-Qin,Hu Guo-Sheng,Yin Shu-Ting,Tao Ying,Hong Ni-Na,Guo Huiling,Liu Wen,Wang Hong-Rui,Zhao Tong-Jin
MED20 is a non-essential subunit of the transcriptional coactivator Mediator complex, but its physiological function remains largely unknown. Here, we identify MED20 as a substrate of the anti-obesity CRL4-WDTC1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex through affinity purification and candidate screening. Overexpression of WDTC1 leads to degradation of MED20, whereas depletion of WDTC1 or CUL4A/B causes accumulation of MED20. Depleting MED20 inhibits adipogenesis, and a non-degradable MED20 mutant restores adipogenesis in WDTC1-overexpressing cells. Furthermore, knockout of Med20 in preadipocytes abolishes development of brown adipose tissues. Removing one allele of Med20 in preadipocytes protects mice from diet-induced obesity and reverses weight gain in Cul4a- or Cul4b-depleted mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) analysis reveals that MED20 organizes the early adipogenic complex by bridging C/EBPβ and RNA polymerase II to promote transcription of the central adipogenic factor, PPARγ. Our findings have thus uncovered a critical role of MED20 in promoting adipogenesis, development of adipose tissue and diet-induced obesity.
Cullin4 E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Regulate Male Gonocyte Migration, Proliferation and Blood-Testis Barrier Homeostasis.
Ubiquitination, an essential posttranslational modification, plays fundamental roles during mammalian spermatogenesis. We previously reported the requirement of two Cullin 4 ubiquitin ligase family genes, Cullin 4a () and Cullin 4b (), in murine spermatogenesis. Both genes are required for male fertility despite their distinct functions in different cell populations. is required in primary spermatocytes to promote meiosis while is required in secondary spermatocytes for spermiogenesis. As the two genes encode proteins that are highly homologous and have overlapping expression in embryonic germ cells, they may compensate for each other during germ cell development. In the present study, we directly address the potential functional redundancy of these two proteins by deleting both Cul4 genes, specifically, in the germ cell lineage during embryonic development, using the germ-cell specific -Cre line. Conditional double-knockout (dKO) males showed delayed homing and impaired proliferation of gonocytes, and a complete loss of germ cells before the end of the first wave of spermatogenesis. The dKO male germ cell phenotype is much more severe than those observed in either single KO mutant, demonstrating the functional redundancy between the two CUL4 proteins. The dKO mutant also exhibited atypical tight junction structures, suggesting the potential involvement of CUL4 proteins in spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) niche formation and blood-testis-barrier (BTB) maintenance. We also show that deleting in both germ and Sertoli cells is sufficient to recapitulate part of this phenotype, causing spermatogenesis defects and drastically reduced number of mature sperms, accompanied by defective tight junctions in the mutant testes. These results indicate the involvement of CUL4B in maintaining BTB integrity.
Exosome-mediated transfer of SNHG7 enhances docetaxel resistance in lung adenocarcinoma.
Zhang Kai,Chen Jing,Li Chen,Yuan Yuan,Fang Surong,Liu Wenfei,Qian Yingying,Ma Jiyong,Chang Ligong,Chen Feifei,Yang Zhenhua,Gu Wei
Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) small nucleolar RNA host gene 7 (SNHG7) has been widely reported in various cancers, including lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). However, it is largely unknown whether SNHG7 is involved in docetaxel resistance of LUAD. In the current study, we identified the high expression of SNHG7 in docetaxel-resistant cells. Through functional assays, we determined that silencing of SNHG7 decreased IC value of LUAD cells to docetaxel and suppressed proliferation and autophagy in LUAD cells, and reversed M2 polarization in macrophages. Mechanistically, we uncovered that SNHG7 promoted autophagy via recruiting human antigen R (HuR) to stabilize autophagy-related genes autophagy related 5 (ATG5) and autophagy related 12 (ATG12). Moreover, exosomal SNHG7 was transmitted from docetaxel-resistant LUAD cells to parental LUAD cells and thus facilitated docetaxel resistance. Additionally, exosomal SNHG7 activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway to promote M2 polarization in macrophages via recruiting cullin 4A (CUL4A) to induce ubiquitination and degradation of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). Taken together, we concluded that exosomal SNHG7 enhances docetaxel resistance of LUAD cells through inducing autophagy and macrophage M2 polarization. All findings in the study suggested that SNHG7 may be a promising target for relieving docetaxel resistance in LUAD.
Cul4A-DDB1-mediated monoubiquitination of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase promotes colorectal cancer metastasis via increased S-adenosylmethionine.
Zhang Yajuan,Yu Hua,Zhang Jie,Gao Hong,Wang Siyao,Li Shuxian,Wei Ping,Liang Ji,Yu Guanzhen,Wang Xiongjun,Li Xinxiang,Li Dawei,Yang Weiwei
The Journal of clinical investigation
Although serine metabolism plays a crucial role in the proliferation and survival of tumor cells, how it supports tumor cell migration remains poorly understood. Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) catalyzes the oxidation of 3-phosphoglycerate to 3-phosphonooxypyruvate, the first committed step in de novo serine biosynthesis. Here we show that PHGDH was monoubiquitinated by cullin 4A-based E3 ligase complex at lysine 146 in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, which enhanced PHGDH activity by recruiting a chaperone protein, DnaJ homolog subfamily A member 1, to promote its tetrameric formation, thereby increasing the levels of serine, glycine, and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Increased levels of SAM upregulated the expression of cell adhesion genes (laminin subunit gamma 2 and cysteine rich angiogenic inducer 61) by initiating SET domain containing 1A-mediated trimethylation of histone H3K4, thereby promoting tumor cell migration and CRC metastasis. Intriguingly, SAM levels in tumors or blood samples correlated with the metastatic recurrence of patients with CRC. Our finding not only reveals a potentially new role and mechanism of SAM-promoted tumor metastasis but also demonstrates a regulatory mechanism of PHGDH activity by monoubiquitination.
KAP1 phosphorylation promotes the survival of neural stem cells after ischemia/reperfusion by maintaining the stability of PCNA.
Stem cell research & therapy
AIMS:To explore the function of phosphorylation of KAP1 (p-KAP1) at the serine-824 site (S824) in the proliferation and apoptosis of endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) after cerebral ischemic/reperfusion (I/R). METHODS:The apoptosis and proliferation of C17.2 cells transfected with the p-KAP1-expression plasmids and the expression of proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and p-KAP1 were detected by immunofluorescence and Western blotting after the Oxygen Glucose deprivation/reperfusion model (OGD/R). The interaction of p-KAP1 and CUL4A with PCNA was analyzed by immunoprecipitation. In the rats MCAO model, we performed the adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2/9 gene delivery of p-KAP1 mutants to verify the proliferation of endogenous NSCs and the colocalization of PCNA and CUL4A by immunofluorescence. RESULTS:The level of p-KAP1 was significantly down-regulated in the stroke model in vivo and in vitro. Simulated p-KAP1(S824) significantly increased the proliferation of C17.2 cells and the expression of PCNA after OGD/R. Simulated p-KAP1(S824) enhanced the binding of p-KAP1 and PCNA and decreased the interaction between PCNA and CUL4A in C17.2 cells subjected to OGD/R. The AAV2/9-mediated p-KAP1(S824) increased endogenous NSCs proliferation, PCNA expression, p-KAP1 binding to PCNA, and improved neurological function in the rat MCAO model. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings confirmed that simulated p-KAP1(S824) improved the survival and proliferation of endogenous NSCs. The underlying mechanism is that highly expressed p-KAP1(S824) promotes binding to PCNA, and inhibits the binding of CUL4A to PCNA. This reduced CUL4A-mediated ubiquitination degradation to increase the stability of PCNA and promote the survival and proliferation of NSCs.
NRIP/DCAF6 stabilizes the androgen receptor protein by displacing DDB2 from the CUL4A-DDB1 E3 ligase complex in prostate cancer.
Chen Hsin-Hsiung,Fan Ping,Chang Szu-Wei,Tsao Yeou-Ping,Huang Hsiang-Po,Chen Show-Li
Both nuclear receptor interaction protein (NRIP) and DNA damage binding protein 2 (DDB2) belong to the Cullin 4 (CUL4)-DDB1 binding protein family and are androgen receptor (AR)-interacting proteins. Here, we investigated the expression patterns of the NRIP, DDB2 and AR proteins in human prostate cancer tissues and found that the expression levels of NRIP and AR were higher, but the DDB2 level was lower, in prostate cancer tissues than in non-neoplastic controls, suggesting NRIP as a candidate tumor promoter and DDB2 as a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer. Furthermore, both NRIP and DDB2 shared the same AR binding domain; they were competitors for the AR, but not for DDB1 binding, in the AR-DDB2-DDB1-CUL4A complex. Conclusively, NRIP stabilizes the AR protein by displacing DDB2 from the AR-DDB2 complex. Consistent with our hypothesis, a specific expression pattern with high levels of NRIP and AR, together with a low level of DDB2, was found more frequently in the human prostate cancer tissues with a cribriform pattern than in non-cribriform tumors, suggesting that disruption of the balance between NRIP and DDB2 may change AR protein homeostasis and contribute to pathogenesis in certain aggressive types of prostate cancer.
Loss of CUL4A expression is underlying cisplatin hypersensitivity in colorectal carcinoma cells with acquired trabectedin resistance.
Englinger B,Mair M,Miklos W,Pirker C,Mohr T,van Schoonhoven S,Lötsch D,Körner W,Ferk F,Knasmüller S,Heffeter P,Keppler B K,Grusch M,Berger W
British journal of cancer
BACKGROUND:Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. Platinum-based anticancer compounds still constitute one mainstay of systemic CRC treatment despite limitations due to adverse effects and resistance development. Trabectedin has shown promising antitumor effects in CRC, however, again resistance development may occur. In this study, we aimed to develop strategies to circumvent or even exploit acquired trabectedin resistance in novel CRC treatment regimens. METHODS:Human HCT116 CRC cells were selected for acquired trabectedin resistance in vitro and characterised by cell biological as well as bioinformatic approaches. In vivo xenograft experiments were conducted. RESULTS:Selection of HCT116 cells for trabectedin resistance resulted in p53-independent hypersensitivity of the selected subline against cisplatin. Bioinformatic analyses of mRNA microarray data suggested deregulation of nucleotide excision repair and particularly loss of the ubiquitin ligase CUL4A in trabectedin-selected cells. Indeed, transient knockdown of CUL4A sensitised parental HCT116 cells towards cisplatin. Trabectedin selected but not parental HCT116 xenografts were significantly responsive towards cisplatin treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Trabectedin selection-mediated CUL4A loss generates an Achilles heel in CRC cancer cells enabling effective cisplatin treatment. Hence, inclusion of trabectedin in cisplatin-containing cancer treatment regimens might cause profound synergism based on reciprocal resistance prevention.
CUL4A induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes cancer metastasis by regulating ZEB1 expression.
Wang Yunshan,Wen Mingxin,Kwon Yongwon,Xu Yangyang,Liu Yueyong,Zhang Pengju,He Xiuquan,Wang Qin,Huang Yurong,Jen Kuang-Yu,LaBarge Mark A,You Liang,Kogan Scott C,Gray Joe W,Mao Jian-Hua,Wei Guangwei
The ubiquitin ligase CUL4A has been implicated in tumorigenesis, but its contributions to progression and metastasis have not been evaluated. Here, we show that CUL4A is elevated in breast cancer as well as in ovarian, gastric, and colorectal tumors in which its expression level correlates positively with distant metastasis. CUL4A overexpression in normal or malignant human mammary epithelial cells increased their neoplastic properties in vitro and in vivo, markedly increasing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the metastatic capacity of malignant cells. In contrast, silencing CUL4A in aggressive breast cancer cells inhibited these processes. Mechanistically, we found that CUL4A modulated histone H3K4me3 at the promoter of the EMT regulatory gene ZEB1 in a manner associated with its transcription. ZEB1 silencing blocked CUL4A-driven proliferation, EMT, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Furthermore, in human breast cancers, ZEB1 expression correlated positively with CUL4A expression and distant metastasis. Taken together, our findings reveal a pivotal role of CUL4A in regulating the metastatic behavior of breast cancer cells.
Identification of CUL4A-DDB1-WDFY1 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex involved in initiation of lysophagy.
Macroautophagy is a bulk degradation system in which double membrane-bound structures called autophagosomes to deliver cytosolic materials to lysosomes. Autophagy promotes cellular homeostasis by selectively recognizing and sequestering specific targets, such as damaged organelles, protein aggregates, and invading bacteria, termed selective autophagy. We previously reported a type of selective autophagy, lysophagy, which helps clear damaged lysosomes. Damaged lysosomes become ubiquitinated and recruit autophagic machinery. Proteomic studies using transfection reagent-coated beads and further evaluations reveal that a CUL4A-DDB1-WDFY1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex is essential to initiate lysophagy and clear damaged lysosomes. Moreover, we show that LAMP2 is ubiquitinated by the CUL4A E3 ligase complex as a substrate on damaged lysosomes. These results reveal how cells selectively tag damaged lysosomes to initiate autophagy for the clearance of lysosomes.
The CARM1-p300-c-Myc-Max (CPCM) transcriptional complex regulates the expression of and affects the stability of CRL4 E3 ligases in colorectal cancer.
Lu Wenzhu,Yang Chunmei,He Hongbo,Liu Hong
International journal of biological sciences
The transcription factor c-Myc and two cullin family members CUL4A/4B function as oncogenes in colorectal cancer. Our recent publication reveals that c-Myc specifically activates the expression of through binding to their promoters. However, the underlying mechanism of how c-Myc actions in this process is still unknown. Using mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation assays, we identified c-Myc formed a transcriptional complex with its partner Max (Myc-associated factor X), a histone acetyltransferase p300 and a coactivator associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) in the present study. Knockdown or overexpression of the components of CARM1-p300-c-Myc-Max (CPCM) complex resulted in a decrease or increase of levels, respectively. Individual knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components decreased cell proliferation, colony formation, and cell invasion. Biochemically, knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components decreased their occupancies on the promoters of / and resulted in their downregulation. Importantly, inhibition of CPCM components also caused a decrease of CRL4 E3 ligase activities and eventually led to an accumulation of ST7 (suppression of tumorigenicity 7), the specific substrate of CRL4 E3 ligases in colorectal cancer. Moreover, the tumor formation results indicated that knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components significantly decreased the tumor volumes. Together, our results suggest that the CPCM complex mediates explicitly the expression of , and thus affects the stability of CRL4 E3 ligases and the ubiquitination of ST7. These results provide more options by targeting the CPCM components to inhibit tumor growth in the therapy of colorectal cancer.
Small molecule NSC1892 targets the CUL4A/4B-DDB1 interactions and causes impairment of CRL4 E3 ligases to inhibit colorectal cancer cell growth.
Yang Chunmei,Wu Jing,He Hongbo,Liu Hong
International journal of biological sciences
Cullin 4A and 4B (CUL4A and 4B) function as oncogenes in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Both of them conservatively associate with DNA damage-binding protein 1 (DDB1) and DDB1-CUL4-associated factor 4 (DCAF4) to form Cullin-RING E3 ligases known as CRL4, which specifically ubiquitinate and degrade tumor suppressor ST7 (suppression of tumorigenicity 7). Knockdown either or significantly inhibits tumor cell growth and . Thus, targeting these CRL4 components and their interactions may be an effective strategy for the therapy of CRC. In this study, we developed an AlphaScreen assay to identify small molecules targeting the CUL4A-DDB1 interaction. We obtained a compound NSC1892, which strongly disrupted the CUL4A-DDB1 interaction (IC = 1.8 μM). Oncogenic phenotype analyses indicated that NSC1892 showed significant cytotoxicity to decrease cell proliferation, colony formation and invasion in CRC cells. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that NSC1892 treatment did not change CUL4A and CUL4B protein levels, but caused the degradation of DDB1, thereby leading to the impaired assembly of CRL4 E3 ligases and resulting in the accumulation of ST7. The administration of NSC1892 in mice also significantly inhibited tumor growth through degrading DDB1 and accumulating ST7. Interestingly, NSC1892 also showed promising cytotoxicity to decrease the growth of other or overexpressing tumor cells such as SKOV3 ovarian cells and Saos2 osteosarcoma cells. Our results provide a new avenue for the development of a therapeutic compound targeting tumors through disrupting the CUL4-DDB1 interaction.