Quantifying ubiquitin signaling

Mol Cell. 2015 May 21;58(4):660-76. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2015.02.020.


Ubiquitin (UB)-driven signaling systems permeate biology, and are often integrated with other types of post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation. Flux through such pathways is dictated by the fractional stoichiometry of distinct modifications and protein assemblies as well as the spatial organization of pathway components. Yet, we rarely understand the dynamics and stoichiometry of rate-limiting intermediates along a reaction trajectory. Here, we review how quantitative proteomic tools and enrichment strategies are being used to quantify UB-dependent signaling systems, and to integrate UB signaling with regulatory phosphorylation events, illustrated with the PINK1/PARKIN pathway. A key feature of ubiquitylation is that the identity of UB chain linkage types can control downstream processes. We also describe how proteomic and enzymological tools can be used to identify and quantify UB chain synthesis and linkage preferences. The emergence of sophisticated quantitative proteomic approaches will set a new standard for elucidating biochemical mechanisms of UB-driven signaling systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism
  • Ubiquitination*


  • Proteome
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases