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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Jul;23(5):523-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2012.02.006. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Regulation of gene expression by the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

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Colorado State University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1870 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Transcription is the foremost regulatory point during the process of producing a functional protein. Not only specific genes need to be turned on and off according to growth and environmental conditions, the amounts and quality of transcripts produced are fine-tuned to offer optimal responses. As a result, numerous regulatory mechanisms converge to provide temporal and spatial specificity for this process. In the past decade, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), which is best known as a pathway for intracellular proteolysis, has emerged as another pivotal player in the control of gene expression. There is increasing evidence that the UPS has both proteolytic and non-proteolytic functions in multiple aspects of the transcription process, including initiation, elongation, mRNA processing as well as chromatin dynamics. In this review, we introduce the many interfaces between the UPS and transcription with focuses on the mechanistic understanding of UPS function in each process.

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