CRL4s: the CUL4-RING E3 ubiquitin ligases

Trends Biochem Sci. 2009 Nov;34(11):562-70. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


The evolutionarily conserved cullin family proteins can assemble as many as 400 distinct E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes that regulate diverse cellular pathways. CUL4, one of three founding cullins conserved from yeast to humans, uses a large beta-propeller protein, DDB1, as a linker to interact with a subset of WD40 proteins that serve as substrate receptors, forming as many as 90 E3 complexes in mammals. Many CRL4 complexes are involved in chromatin regulation and are frequently hijacked by different viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cullin Proteins / genetics
  • Cullin Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Binding


  • CUL4A protein, human
  • CUL4B protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cullin Proteins
  • DDB1 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • RBX1 protein, human
  • WDR1 protein, human