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Nat Chem Biol. 2007 Nov;3(11):697-705.

Mechanisms, biology and inhibitors of deubiquitinating enzymes.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


The addition of ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like (Ubl) modifiers to proteins serves to modulate function and is a key step in protein degradation, epigenetic modification and intracellular localization. Deubiquitinating enzymes and Ubl-specific proteases, the proteins responsible for the removal of Ub and Ubls, act as an additional level of control over the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Their conservation and widespread occurrence in eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses shows that these proteases constitute an essential class of enzymes. Here, we discuss how chemical tools, including activity-based probes and suicide inhibitors, have enabled (i) discovery of deubiquitinating enzymes, (ii) their functional profiling, crystallographic characterization and mechanistic classification and (iii) development of molecules for therapeutic purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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