Protein ubiquitylation has emerged as a key mechanism that regulates immune responses. Much like phosphorylation, ubiquitylation is a reversible covalent modification that regulates the stability, activity and localization of target proteins. As such, ubiquitylation regulates the development of the immune system and many phases of the immune response, including its initiation, propagation and termination. Recent work has shown that several ubiquitin ligases help to prevent the immune system from attacking self tissues. The dysfunction of several ubiquitin ligases has been linked to autoimmune diseases.