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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Aug;10(8):564-8. doi: 10.1038/nrm2707. Epub 2009 May 28.

An additional role for SUMO in ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee, DD1 5EH, UK.


Although the post-translational modification of proteins with small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) has a role in many biological processes, it was thought that SUMO, unlike ubiquitin, does not target proteins for degradation. However, these views need to be revised, as recent findings in yeast and human cells indicate that SUMO can act as a signal for the recruitment of E3 ubiquitin ligases, which leads to the ubiquitylation and degradation of the modified protein.

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