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J Cell Sci. 2012 Jan 15;125(Pt 2):255-63. doi: 10.1242/jcs.091199.

Emerging regulatory mechanisms in ubiquitin-dependent cell cycle control.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3202, USA.


The covalent modification of proteins with ubiquitin is required for accurate cell division in all eukaryotes. Ubiquitylation depends on an enzymatic cascade, in which E3 enzymes recruit specific substrates for modification. Among ~600 human E3s, the SCF (Skp1-cullin1-F-box) and the APC/C (anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome) are known for driving the degradation of cell cycle regulators to accomplish irreversible cell cycle transitions. The cell cycle machinery reciprocally regulates the SCF and APC/C through various mechanisms, including the modification of these E3s or the binding of specific inhibitors. Recent studies have provided new insight into the intricate relationship between ubiquitylation and the cell division apparatus as they revealed roles for atypical ubiquitin chains, new mechanisms of substrate and E3 regulation, as well as extensive crosstalk between ubiquitylation enzymes. Here, we review these emerging regulatory mechanisms of ubiquitin-dependent cell cycle control and discuss how their manipulation might provide therapeutic benefits in the future.

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