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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Jul;7(7):722-7. doi: 10.4161/psb.20360. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

In vivo relevance of substrate recognition function of major Arabidopsis ubiquitin receptors.

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Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.


Ubiquitylation marks proteins for destruction by the 26S proteasome. These signals are deciphered and targeted by distinct direct and indirect pathways involving a set of evolutionarily conserved ubiquitin receptors. Although biochemical and structural studies have revealed the mechanistic complexity of these substrate recognition pathways, conclusive evidence of the in vivo relevance of their substrate recognition function is currently not available. We recently showed that the structural elements involved in substrate recognition are not responsible for the important roles of the ubiquitin receptor RPN10 in vegetative and reproductive growth or for the abundance of the two-capped proteasomes (RP2-CP). Moreover, Arabidopsis plants subjected to severe knockdown or knockout any of the major ubiquitin receptors displayed wild-type phenotypes. Our results clearly suggest a functional redundancy of the major Arabidopsis ubiquitin receptors, and this evolved multiplicity is probably used to secure the substrates delivery. Based on the reduced abundance of RP2-CP in rpn10-2 and a role of RPN10 in lid-base association, a structural role of RPN10 in 26S proteasome stability is likely to be more relevant in vivo. Further efforts using structural and functional analyses in higher-order mutants to identify the specific biological functions of substrate recognition for the major Arabidopsis ubiquitin receptors are described here.

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