The TRIM/RBCC proteins are defined by the presence of the tripartite motif composed of a RING domain, one or two B-box motifs and a coiled-coil region. These proteins are involved in a plethora of cellular processes such as apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and viral response. Consistently, their alteration results in many diverse pathological conditions. The highly conserved modular structure of these proteins suggests that a common biochemical function may underlie their assorted cellular roles. Here, we review recent data indicating that some TRIM/RBCC proteins are implicated in ubiquitination and propose that this large protein family represents a novel class of 'single protein RING finger' ubiquitin E3 ligases.
Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.