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Biochimie. 2001 Mar-Apr;83(3-4):319-23.

Antizyme, a mediator of ubiquitin-independent proteasomal degradation.

Author information

  • Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0414, USA. pcoffin@itsa.ucsf.edu


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is among the small set of proteasome substrates that is not ubiquitinated. It is instead degraded in conjunction with the protein antizyme (AZ). ODC and AZ are participants in a regulatory circuit that restricts pools of polyamines, the downstream products of ODC enzymatic activity. Functional studies using directed mutagenesis have identified regions of ODC and AZ required for the process of ODC degradation. Within ODC, there is a region that is required for AZ binding which lies on the surface of an alpha-beta barrel forming one domain of the ODC monomer. A carboxy-terminal ODC domain is needed for both AZ-dependent and AZ-independent degradation. Within AZ, the carboxy-terminal half molecule is sufficient for binding to ODC, but an additional domain found within the AZ amino terminus must be present for stimulation of ODC degradation by the proteasome. Recently, the AZs have been found to consist of an ancient gene family. Within vertebrate species, multiple isoforms are found, with distinct functions that remain to be sorted out. Although AZ homologs have been found in some yeast species, homology searches have failed to identify an AZ homolog in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nevertheless, the close parallel between polyamine-induced ODC degradation in S. cerevisiae and in animal cells suggests that this organism will also be found to harbor an AZ-like protein.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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