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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1999 Sep 29;354(1389):1501-11.

The proteasome: a macromolecular assembly designed for controlled proteolysis.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.


In eukaryotic cells, the vast majority of proteins in the cytosol and nucleus are degraded via the proteasome-ubiquitin pathway. The 26S proteasome is a huge protein degradation machine of 2.5 MDa, built of approximately 35 different subunits. It contains a proteolytic core complex, the 20S proteasome and one or two 19S regulatory complexes which associate with the termini of the barrel-shaped 20S core. The 19S regulatory complex serves to recognize ubiquitylated target proteins and is implicated to have a role in their unfolding and translocation into the interior of the 20S complex where they are degraded into oligopeptides. While much progress has been made in recent years in elucidating the structure, assembly and enzymatic mechanism of the 20S complex, our knowledge of the functional organization of the 19S regulator is rather limited. Most of its subunits have been identified, but specific functions can be assigned to only a few of them.

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