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Mech Ageing Dev. 2011 Aug;132(8-9):366-73. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

CUL4B-deficiency in humans: understanding the clinical consequences of impaired Cullin 4-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase function.

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Human DNA Damage Response Disorders Group, Genome Damage and Stability Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RQ, UK.


Cullin's encode the structural components for one of the most abundant E3 ubiquitin ligase families in eukaryotes accounting for as many as 400 distinct E3 ubiquitin ligases. Because of their modular assembly involving combinations of multiple distinct adaptor and substrate receptor proteins, it comes as no surprise that these E3's are implicated in a plethora of fundamental biochemical processes ranging from DNA replication and repair to transcription and development. Herein, we focus on one member of the cullin family, namely the Cullin 4-RING E3 ligases (CRL4's). More specifically, we overview what has been learned about some of the functions of CRL4's from various model systems. We discuss the unexpected association of defective CUL4B with syndromal X-linked mental retardation in humans and speculate on the biochemical consequences and clinical implications of defective CRL4 function. In particular, mutations in CUL4B highlight a previously unappreciated role for CRL4's in neuronal function and cognition in humans.

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