Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4: stuck in the middle with Ub

Curr Biol. 2002 May 14;12(10):R366-71. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(02)00862-x.


The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has a well-defined beginning and end. Target proteins are initially recognized by upstream components and tagged with polyubiquitin chains. The 26S proteasome then degrades these polyubiquitinated proteins. Until recently, it was not known what, if any, steps occurred between the initial polyubiquitination of target proteins and their final degradation. Several new papers investigating the function of the Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4 complex indicate that there is indeed a middle to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4 complex functions in the recognition of several polyubiquitin-tagged proteins and facilitates their presentation to the 26S proteasome for processive degradation or even more specific processing. The elucidation of Cdc48, Ufd1 and Npl4 action not only provides long-sought functions for these specific proteins, but illuminates a poorly understood part of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Valosin Containing Protein


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • NPL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ufd1 protein, mouse
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • ATP dependent 26S protease
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • CDC48 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Valosin Containing Protein