Volume 88 Issue 41 | pp. 36-37
Issue Date: October 11, 2010

Ubiquitins Are Finally United

New synthetic approaches put a long-sought end to ubiquitin proteins’ unchained melody
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: ubiquitin, deubiquitinatination, native chemical ligation

Chains of ubiquitin proteins play key roles in cellular chemistry, including directing unwanted proteins to the proteasome for disposal. That function is carried out by a type of ubiquitin chain called K48. Another type, K11, marks proteins for turnover in the cell cycle, and one called K63 has a variety of functions such as activating protein kinases.

But in addition to these three types of homogeneous ubiquitin chains—so called because each is linked internally in . . .

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