Ubiquilin 2, which is encoded by the UBQLN2 gene, plays a critical role in protein clearance pathways including the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. Ubiquilin 2 physically associates with ubiquitin ligases and proteasomes to mediate protein degradation. It also plays a role in the regulation of cell signalling and cell cycle progression, and association with cytoskeletal elements. Recent studies have revealed that ubiquilin 2 also plays a pathogenic role in neurodegenerative disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and ALS-frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD). Rare UBQLN2 mutations cause a small subset of ALS and ALS-FTD cases. More widespread is the presence of ubiquilin 2 positive inclusions in the affected neurons of some familial and sporadic ALS and ALS-FTD patients. These discoveries have led to the hypothesis that perturbation in protein clearance, mediated by ubiquilin 2, is an important pathogenic mechanism in neurodegeneration.
Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Autophagy; Dementia; Ubiquilin 2; Ubiquitin–proteasome system.
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