Ovarian tumor domain proteases in pathogen infection

Trends Microbiol. 2022 Jan;30(1):22-33. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2021.04.002. Epub 2021 May 17.


With the aim of overcoming host immune responses, and to permit persistence, numerous bacterial and viral pathogens have evolved effective strategies to control the activity of ovarian tumor domain proteases (OTUs), a group of deubiquitinylases crucial for regulating ubiquitin-modified proteins. Due to the important role of eukaryotic OTUs in cellular physiology, it is not surprising that pathogens have evolutionarily developed effector proteins which mimic host OTUs. Here, we focus on recent findings that illustrate how pathogen-encoded OTUs modulate eukaryotic host proteins and how they are implicated in cellular dysregulation. Further, we discuss the biological effects of OTUs in the context of structural features and pharmacological targeting. We point out the potentiality of selective OTU inhibitors, which shield ubiquitin-binding sites, as pharmacologic targets to treat harmful infections.

Keywords: ISG15; NF-κB; multivalent recognition; pathogen-encoded deubiquitinylases; pharmacological targets; ubiquitin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms*
  • Peptide Hydrolases* / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Ubiquitin / chemistry
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • Ubiquitin
  • Peptide Hydrolases