Polyubiquitin chains: Polymeric protein signals

ArticleinCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology 8(6):610-6 · January 2005with19 Reads
Impact Factor: 6.81 · DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2004.09.009 · Source: PubMed


    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.