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Drug Discov Today. 2003 Aug 15;8(16):746-54.

Drug discovery in the ubiquitin regulatory pathway.

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Rigel Pharmaceuticals, 1180 Veterans Blvd South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


The ubiquitin system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous disease states, including oncogenesis, inflammation, viral infection, CNS disorders and metabolic dysfunction. Ubiquitin conjugation and deconjugation to substrate proteins is carried out by multiple families of proteins, each with a defined role in the enzymatic cascade. This conjugation-deconjugation system parallels the kinase-phosphatase system in that both alter protein function by the addition and removal of post-translational modifiers. Our understanding of ubiquitin biology and strategies to interfere pharmacologically with the ubiquitin regulatory machinery is progressing rapidly. In light of increased interest in ubiquitin pathways as drug targets, we review the ubiquitin enzymatic cascades, highlighting therapeutic opportunities and enzymatic mechanisms. We also discuss the challenges of targeting this class of enzymes with small molecules, as well as current approaches and progress in drug discovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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