Design principles involving protein disorder facilitate specific substrate selection and degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system [Protein Synthesis and Degradation]

February 5th, 2016 by Guharoy, M., Bhowmick, P., Tompa, P.

The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) regulates diverse cellular pathways by the timely removal (or processing) of proteins. Here we review the role of structural disorder and conformational flexibility in the different aspects of degradation. First, we discuss posttranslational modifications within disordered regions that regulate E3 ligase localization, conformation and enzymatic activity, and also the role of flexible linkers in mediating ubiquitin transfer and reaction processivity. Next we review well-studied substrates and discuss that substrate elements (degrons) recognized by E3 ligases are highly disordered: short linear motifs recognized by many E3s constitute an important class of degrons and these are almost always present in disordered regions. Substrate lysines targeted for ubiquitination are also often located in neighboring regions of the E3 docking motifs and are therefore part of the disordered segment. Finally, biochemical experiments and predictions show that initiation of degradation at the 26S proteasome requires a partially unfolded region to facilitate substrate entry into the proteasomal core.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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