The increasing complexity of the ubiquitin code

Nat Cell Biol. 2016 May 27;18(6):579-86. doi: 10.1038/ncb3358.


Ubiquitylation is essential for signal transduction as well as cell division and differentiation in all eukaryotes. Substrate modifications range from a single ubiquitin molecule to complex polymeric chains, with different types of ubiquitylation often eliciting distinct outcomes. The recent identification of novel chain topologies has improved our understanding of how ubiquitylation establishes precise communication within cells. Here, we discuss how the increasing complexity of ubiquitylation is employed to ensure robust and faithful signal transduction in eukaryotic cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Ubiquitin