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Genes Dev. 2006 Nov 15;20(22):3069-78.

Precise destruction: an emerging picture of the APC.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Cancer Research Institute, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.


Cell cycle transitions are often accompanied by the degradation of regulatory molecules. Targeting proteins to the proteasome for degradation is accomplished by the covalent addition of ubiquitin chains. The specificity of this pathway is largely dictated by a set of enzymes called ubiquitin ligases (or E3s). The anaphase-promoting complex (or APC) is a ubiquitin ligase that has a particularly prominent role in regulating cell cycle progression. To date, the APC is the most complicated member of the RING/cullin family of multisubunit E3s. It includes at least 13 core subunits and three related adaptors. A combination of biochemical, genetic, and structural approaches are now shedding light on the enzymology of the APC. This review will focus on these data, drawing parallels with related ubiquitin ligases.

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