Regulation of polyubiquitin genes to meet cellular ubiquitin requirement

BMB Rep. 2021 Apr;54(4):189-195. doi: 10.5483/BMBRep.2021.54.4.005.


Ubiquitin (Ub) is one of the proteins that are highly conserved from yeast to humans. It is an essential core unit of the welldefined post-translational modification, called ubiquitination, which is involved in a variety of biological processes. In metazoans, Ub is encoded by two monoubiquitin genes and two polyubiquitin genes, in which a single Ub is fused to a ribosomal protein or Ub coding units are arranged in tandem repeats. In mice, polyubiquitin genes (Ubb and Ubc) play a pivotal role to meet the requirement of cellular Ub pools during embryonic development. In addition, expression levels of polyubiquitin genes are increased to adapt to environmental stimuli such as oxidative, heat-shock, and proteotoxic stress. Several researchers have reported about the perturbation of Ub pools through genetic alteration or exogenous Ub delivery using diverse model systems. To study Ub pool changes in a physiologically relevant manner, changing Ub pools via the regulation of endogenous polyubiquitin gene expression has recently been introduced. Furthermore, to understand the regulation of polyubiquitin gene expression more precisely, cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors, which are regulatory components of polyubiquitin genes, have been analyzed. In this review, we discuss how the role of polyubiquitin genes has been studied during the past decade, especially focusing on their regulation. [BMB Reports 2021; 54(4): 189-195].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Humans
  • Polyubiquitin / genetics
  • Polyubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Polyubiquitin