Polyubiquitin chains: polymeric protein signals.
ABSTRACT The 76-residue protein ubiquitin exists within eukaryotic cells both as a monomer and in the form of isopeptide-linked polymers called polyubiquitin chains. In two well-described cases, structurally distinct polyubiquitin chains represent functionally distinct intracellular signals. Recently, additional polymeric structures have been detected in vivo and in vitro, and several large families of proteins with polyubiquitin chain-binding activity have been discovered. Although the molecular mechanisms governing specificity in chain synthesis and recognition are still incompletely understood, the scope of signaling by polyubiquitin chains is likely to be broader than originally envisioned.
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ABSTRACT: The degradation of damaged proteins is an important vital function especially during aging and stress. The ubiquitin proteasome system is one of the major cellular machineries for protein degradation. Health and longevity are associated with high proteasome activity. To demonstrate such a role in aging of Podospora anserina, we first analyzed the transcript and protein abundance of selected proteasome components in wild-type cultures of different age. No significant differences were observed. Next, in order to increase the overall proteasome abundance we generated strains overexpressing the catalytic proteasome subunits PaPRE2 and PaPRE3. Although transcript levels were strongly increased, no substantial effect on the abundance of the corresponding proteins was observed. Finally, the analysis of the P. anserina strains expressing the sequence coding for the CL1 degron fused to the Gfp gene revealed no evidence for degradation of the GFP-CL1 fusion protein by the proteasome. Instead, our results demonstrate the degradation of the CL1-degron sequence via autophagy, indicating that basal autophagy appears to be a very effective protein quality control pathway in P. anserina.F1000Research. 01/2014; 3:230.