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Bioessays. 2000 May;22(5):442-51.

Ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis: biological regulation via destruction.

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Department of Biochemistry, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel.


The ubiquitin proteolytic system plays an important role in a broad array of basic cellular processes. Among these are regulation of cell cycle, modulation of the immune and inflammatory responses, control of signal transduction pathways, development and differentiation. These complex processes are controlled via specific degradation of a single or a subset of proteins. Degradation of a protein by the ubiquitin system involves two successive steps, conjugation of multiple moieties of ubiquitin and degradation of the tagged protein by the 26S proteasome. An important question concerns the identity of the mechanisms that underlie the high degree of specificity of the system. Substrate recognition is governed by a large family ubiquitin ligases that recognize the substrates, bind them and catalyze/facilitate their interaction with ubiquitin.

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