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J Biol Chem. 2005 Aug 19;280(33):29470-8. Epub 2005 Jun 13.

A high throughput screen to identify substrates for the ubiquitin ligase Rsp5.

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  • 1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Ubiquitin-protein ligases (E3s) are implicated in various human disorders and are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Although most cellular proteins are ubiquitinated, ubiquitination cannot be linked directly to a specific E3 for a large fraction of these proteins, and the substrates of most E3 enzymes are unknown. We have developed a luminescent assay to detect ubiquitination in vitro, which is more quantitative, effective, and sensitive than conventional ubiquitination assays. By taking advantage of the abundance of purified proteins made available by genomic efforts, we screened hundreds of purified yeast proteins for ubiquitination, and we identified previously reported and novel substrates of the yeast E3 ligase Rsp5. The relevance of these substrates was confirmed in vivo by showing that a number of them interact genetically with Rsp5, and some were ubiquitinated by Rsp5 in vivo. The combination of this sensitive assay and the availability of purified substrates will enable the identification of substrates for any purified E3 enzyme.

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