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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Mar 21;302(4):635-45.

U-box proteins as a new family of ubiquitin ligases.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


Ubiquitin-protein ligases (E3s) determine the substrate specificity of ubiquitylation and, until recently, had been classified into two families, the HECT and RING-finger families. The U-box is a domain of approximately 70 amino acids that is present in proteins from yeast to humans. The prototype U-box protein, yeast Ufd2, was identified as a ubiquitin chain assembly factor (E4) that cooperates with a ubiquitin-activating enzyme (E1), a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2), and an E3 to catalyze the formation of a ubiquitin chain on artificial substrates. We recently showed that mammalian U-box proteins, in conjunction with an E1 and an E2, mediate polyubiquitylation in the absence of a HECT type or RING-finger type E3. U-box proteins have thus been defined as a third family of E3s. We here review recent progress in the characterization of U-box proteins and of their role in the quality control system that underlies the cellular stress response to the intracellular accumulation of abnormal proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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