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J Biochem. 1997 Apr;121(4):684-9.

Purification and characterization of a new ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH-1) with isopeptidase activity from chick skeletal muscle.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Research Center for Cell Differentiation, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Korea.


We have previously shown that chick muscle extracts contain at least 10 different ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolases (UCHs). In the present studies, one of the enzymes, called UCH-1 was partially purified by conventional chromatographic procedures using (125)I-labeled ubiquitin-alphaNH-MHISPPEPESEEEEEHYC as a substrate. The purified enzyme behaved as a 35-kDa protein under both denaturing and nondenaturing conditions, suggesting that it consisted of a single polypeptide chain. It was maximally active at pHs between 8 and 9, but showed little or no activity at pH below 6 and above 11. Like other UCHs, its activity was strongly inhibited by sulfhydryl blocking reagents, such as iodoacetamide, and by ubiquitin-aldehyde. In addition to Ub-PESTc, UCH-1 hydrolyzed ubiquitin-alphaNH-protein extensions, including ubiquitin-alphaNH-carboxyl extension protein of 80 amino acids, ubiquitin-alphaNH-dihydrofolate reductase, and poly-His-tagged di-ubiquitin. This enzyme was also capable of generating free ubiquitin from mono-ubiquitin-epsilonNH-protein conjugates and from branched poly-ubiquitin chains that are ligated to proteins through epsilon NH-isopeptide bonds. These results suggest that UCH-1 may play an important role in the generation of free ubiquitin from ubiquitin-ribosomal protein fusions and linear poly-ubiquitin, as well as in recycling of Ub molecules after degradation of poly-ubiquitinated protein conjugates by the 26S proteasome.

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