Muscle development requires the coordinated activities of specific protein folding and degradation factors. UFD-2, a U-box ubiquitin ligase, has been reported to play a central role in this orchestra regulating the myosin chaperone UNC-45. Here, we apply an integrative in vitro and in vivo approach to delineate the substrate-targeting mechanism of UFD-2 and elucidate its distinct mechanistic features as an E3/E4 enzyme. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as model system, we demonstrate that UFD-2 is not regulating the protein levels of UNC-45 in muscle cells, but rather shows the characteristic properties of a bona fide E3 ligase involved in protein quality control. Our data demonstrate that UFD-2 preferentially targets unfolded protein segments. Moreover, the UNC-45 chaperone can serve as an adaptor protein of UFD-2 to poly-ubiquitinate unfolded myosin, pointing to a possible role of the UFD-2/UNC-45 pair in maintaining proteostasis in muscle cells.