Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins as multifunctional signals

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Aug;6(8):599-609. doi: 10.1038/nrm1700.


Protein ubiquitylation is a recognized signal for protein degradation. However, it is increasingly realized that ubiquitin conjugation to proteins can be used for many other purposes. Furthermore, there are many ubiquitin-like proteins that control the activities of proteins. The central structural element of these post-translational modifications is the ubiquitin superfold. A common ancestor based on this superfold has evolved to give various proteins that are involved in diverse activities in the cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / physiology*
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism
  • Ubiquitins / physiology*


  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitins
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex