The utility F-box for protein destruction

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Jul;65(13):1977-2000. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-7592-6.


A signature feature of all living organisms is their utilization of proteins to construct molecular machineries that undertake the complex network of cellular activities. The abundance of a protein element is temporally and spatially regulated in two opposing aspects: de novo synthesis to manufacture the required amount of the protein, and destruction of the protein when it is in excess or no longer needed. One major route of protein destruction is coordinated by a set of conserved molecules, the F-box proteins, which promote ubiquitination in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Here we discuss the functions of F-box proteins in several cellular scenarios including cell cycle progression, synapse formation, plant hormone responses, and the circadian clock. We particularly emphasize the mechanisms whereby F-box proteins recruit specific substrates and regulate their abundance in the context of SCF E3 ligases. For some exceptions, we also review how F-box proteins function through non-SCF mechanisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Cell Cycle
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Dimerization
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • F-Box Proteins / chemistry
  • F-Box Proteins / genetics
  • F-Box Proteins / physiology*
  • Genomic Instability
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Models, Biological
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases / chemistry
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases / genetics
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Ubiquitination


  • F-Box Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases