Nonproteolytic Functions of Ubiquitin in Cell Signaling

Zhijian J. Chen, Lijun J. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

578 Scopus citations

Abstract

The small protein ubiquitin is a central regulator of a cell's life and death. Ubiquitin is best known for targeting protein destruction by the 26S proteasome. In the past few years, however, nonproteolytic functions of ubiquitin have been uncovered at a rapid pace. These functions include membrane trafficking, protein kinase activation, DNA repair, and chromatin dynamics. A common mechanism underlying these functions is that ubiquitin, or polyubiquitin chains, serves as a signal to recruit proteins harboring ubiquitin-binding domains, thereby bringing together ubiquitinated proteins and ubiquitin receptors to execute specific biological functions. Recent advances in understanding ubiquitination in protein kinase activation and DNA repair are discussed to illustrate the nonproteolytic functions of ubiquitin in cell signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular cell
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 13 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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