Dynamic regulation of innate immunity by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2013 Dec;24(6):559-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) are central to the host innate immune regulations. Dynamically, PTMs fine-tune the spatial and temporary responses of immune- and non-immune-cells, in accordance with extracellular and intracellular stresses. Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls) are emerging as the important multi-functional signals, controlling the activation, stability, affinity and location of many signaling proteins. Recent investigations, at the molecular-cellular-animal models, have shed new light on the versatility of the ubiquitin, SUMO and ISG15, for shaping the strength and duration of the innate immune responses. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the functions and regulatory mechanisms of the ubiquitin and Ubls in the innate immunity, the first line of host defense against microbial infection.

Keywords: ISG15; Innate immunity; SUMO; Signal transduction; Ubiquitin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / immunology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / immunology
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology
  • Ubiquitins / immunology*


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Ubiquitins