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Mol Cell Biol. Nov 1996; 16(11): 6020–6028.
PMCID: PMC231604

The multiubiquitin-chain-binding protein Mcb1 is a component of the 26S proteasome in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and plays a nonessential, substrate-specific role in protein turnover.

Abstract

The 26S proteasome is an essential proteolytic complex that is responsible for degrading proteins conjugated with ubiquitin. It has been proposed that the recognition of substrates by the 26S proteasome is mediated by a multiubiquitin-chain-binding protein that has previously been characterized in both plants and animals. In this study, we identified a Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog of this protein, designated Mcb1. Mcb1 copurified with the 26S proteasome in both conventional and nickel chelate chromatography. In addition, a significant fraction of Mcb1 in cell extracts was present in a low-molecular-mass form free of the 26S complex. Recombinant Mcb1 protein bound multiubiquitin chains in vitro and, like its plant and animal counterparts, exhibited a binding preference for longer chains. Surprisingly, (delta)mcb1 deletion mutants were viable, grew at near-wild-type rates, degraded the bulk of short-lived proteins normally, and were not sensitive to UV radiation or heat stress. These data indicate that Mcb1 is not an essential component of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in S.cerevisiae. However, the (delta)mcb1 mutant exhibited a modest sensitivity to amino acid analogs and had increased steady-state levels of ubiquitin-protein conjugates. Whereas the N-end rule substrate, Arg-beta-galactosidase, was degraded at the wild-type rate in the (delta)mcb1 strain, the ubiquitin fusion degradation pathway substrate, ubiquitin-Pro-beta-galactosidase, was markedly stabilized. Collectively, these data suggest that Mcb1 is not the sole factor involved in ubiquitin recognition by the 26S proteasome and that Mcb1 may interact with only a subset of ubiquitinated substrates.

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