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Semin Cancer Biol. 2008 Dec;18(6):441-50. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2008.09.002. Epub 2008 Oct 2.

Viral and cellular MARCH ubiquitin ligases and cancer.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Covalent conjugation of proteins with ubiquitin is one the most important post-translational modifications because it controls intracellular protein trafficking typically resulting in protein degradation. Frequently ubiquitinated proteins are targeted to the proteasome for degradation in the cytosol. However, ubiquitinated membrane bound proteins can also be targeted for endocytosis and degradation in the lysosome. Ubiquitin-dependent degradation pathways have clear cancer relevance due to their integral involvement in protein quality control, regulation of immune responses, signal transduction, and cell cycle regulation. In spite of its fundamental importance, little is known regarding how proteins are specifically identified for ubiquitin-dependent degradation. In this article we review a newly discovered family of viral and cellular ubiquitin ligases called MARCH proteins. Recent studies of MARCH proteins define new paradigms showing how ubiquitin E3 ligases determine the intracellular location and fate of proteins.

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