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The methionine 1 (M1)-specific deubiquitinase (DUB) OTULIN acts as a negative regulator of nuclear factor κB signaling and immune homeostasis. By replacing Gly76 in distal ubiquitin (Ub) by dehydroalanine we designed the diubiquitin (diUb) activity-based probe UbG76Dha-Ub (OTULIN activity-based probe [ABP]) that couples to the catalytic site of OTULIN and thereby captures OTULIN in its active conformation. The OTULIN ABP displays high selectivity for OTULIN and does not label other M1-cleaving DUBs, including CYLD. The only detectable cross-reactivities were the labeling of USP5 (Isopeptidase T) and an ATP-dependent assembly of polyOTULIN ABP chains via Ub-activating E1 enzymes. Both cross-reactivities were abolished by the removal of the C-terminal Gly in the ABP's proximal Ub, yielding the specific OTULIN probe UbG76Dha-UbΔG76 (OTULIN ABPΔG76). Pull-downs demonstrate that substrate-bound OTULIN associates with the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC). Thus, we present a highly selective ABP for OTULIN that will facilitate studying the cellular function of this essential DUB.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Chem Biol

Publication Date





1299 - 1313.e7


DUB, HOIP, M1-linked, OTULIN, activity-based probe, ubiquitin chains, ubiquitin-activating E1, Catalytic Domain, Endopeptidases, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Molecular Probes, Substrate Specificity, Ubiquitin, Ubiquitination