Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2020) 37: 1-20.

Cracking the Ubiquitin Code: The Ubiquitin Toolbox

Monique P.C. Mulder, Katharina F. Witting and Huib Ovaa

Ubiquitination, a post-translational modification, regulates a vast array of fundamental biological processes with dysregulation of the dedicated enzymes giving rise to pathologies such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Assembly and its ensuing removal of this post-translational modification, determining a large variety of biological functions, is executed by a number of enzymes sequentially activating, conjugating, ligating, as well as deubiquitinating. Considering the vast impact of ubiquitination on regulating cellular homeostasis, understanding the function of these vast enzyme networks merits the development and innovation of tools. Thus, advances in synthetic strategies for generating ubiquitin, permitted the development of a plethora of ubiquitin assay reagents and numerous activity-based probes (ABPs) enable the study of enzymes involved in the complex system of ubiquitination. With ubiquitination playing such a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of a multitude of diseases, the identification of inhibitors for ubiquitin enzymes as well as the development of ABPs and high-throughput assay reagents is of utmost importance. Accordingly, this chapter will review the current state-of-the-art activity-based probes, reporter substrates, and other relevant tools based on Ub as a recognition element while highlighting the need of innovative technologies and unique concepts to study emerging facets of ubiquitin biology.

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