BBA - Molecular Cell Research (v.1695, #1-3)

The ubiquitin system: pathogenesis of human diseases and drug targeting by Aaron Ciechanover; Alan L. Schwartz (3-17).
With the many processes and substrates targeted by the ubiquitin pathway, it is not surprising to find that aberrations in the system underlie, directly or indirectly, the pathogenesis of many diseases. While inactivation of a major enzyme such as E1 is obviously lethal, mutations in enzymes or in recognition motifs in substrates that do not affect vital pathways or that affect the involved process only partially may result in a broad array of phenotypes. Likewise, acquired changes in the activity of the system can also evolve into certain pathologies. The pathological states associated with the ubiquitin system can be classified into two groups: (a) those that result from loss of function-mutation in a ubiquitin system enzyme or in the recognition motif in the target substrate that lead to stabilization of certain proteins, and (b) those that result from gain of function-abnormal or accelerated degradation of the protein target. Studies that employ targeted inactivation of genes coding for specific ubiquitin system enzymes and substrates in animals can provide a more systematic view into the broad spectrum of pathologies that may result from aberrations in ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Better understanding of the processes and identification of the components involved in the degradation of key regulatory proteins will lead to the development of mechanism-based drugs that will target specifically only the involved proteins.
Keywords: Ubiquitin system; Human disease; Drug targeting;

The final destination of the majority of proteins that have to be selectively degraded in eukaryotic cells is the proteasome, a highly sophisticated nanomachine essential for life. 26S proteasomes select target proteins via their modification with polyubiquitin chains or, in rare cases, by the recognition of specific motifs. They are made up of different subcomplexes, a 20S core proteasome harboring the proteolytic active sites hidden within its barrel-like structure and two 19S caps that execute regulatory functions. Similar complexes equipped with PA28 regulators instead of 19S caps are a variation of this theme specialized for the production of antigenic peptides required in immune response. Structure analysis as well as extensive biochemical and genetic studies of the 26S proteasome and the ubiquitin system led to a basic model of substrate recognition and degradation. Recent work raised new concepts. Additional factors involved in substrate acquisition and delivery to the proteasome have been discovered. Moreover, first insights in the tasks of individual subunits or subcomplexes of the 19S caps in substrate recognition and binding as well as release and recycling of polyubiquitin tags have been obtained.
Keywords: Proteasome; Proteolysis; Ubiquitin; Regulation;

The ubiquitin–proteasome pathway is particularly important for the regulated degradation of various proteins which control a vast array of biological processes. Therefore, proteasome inhibitors are promising candidates for anti-tumoral or anti-inflammatory drugs. N-Acetyl-Leu-Leu-Norleucinal (Ac-LLN-al, also termed calpain inhibitor I) was one of the first proteasome inhibitors discovered and has been widely used to study the 20S proteasome core particle (CP) function in vivo, despite its lack of specificity. Vinyl sulfones, like Ac-PRLN-vs, show covalent binding of the β-carbon atom of the vinyl sulfone group to the Thr1Oγ only of subunit β2. However, vinyl sulfones have similar limitations as peptide aldehydes as they have been reported also to bind and block intracellular cysteine proteases. A more specific proteasome inhibitor is the natural product lactacystin, which can be isolated from Streptomyces. It was found that this compound forms an ester bond only to the Thr1Oγ of the chymotrypsin-like active subunit β5 due to specific P1 interactions. In contrast to most other proteasome inhibitors, the natural α′,β′-epoxyketone peptide epoxomicin binds specifically to the small class of N-terminal nucleophilic (Ntn) hydrolases (CPs belong to this protease family) with the formation of a morpholino adduct.All previously described proteasome inhibitors bind covalently to the proteolytic active sites. However, as the proteasome is involved in a variety of biological important functions, it is of particular interest to block the CP only for limited time in order to reduce cytotoxic effects. Recently, the binding mode of the natural specific proteasome inhibitor TMC-95 obtained from Apiospora montagnei was investigated. The crystal structure revealed that the TMC-95 blocks the active sites of the CP noncovalently in the low nanomolar range.This review summarizes the current structural knowledge of inhibitory compounds bound to the CP, showing the proteasome as a potential target for drug development in medical research.
Keywords: Proteasome; Ubiquitin–pathway; Multifunctional protease complex; Ntn-hydrolase; Inhibitor;

The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is a multiprotein complex of the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. CSN is typically composed of eight subunits, each of which is related to one of the eight subunits that form the lid of the 26S proteasome regulatory particle. CSN was first identified in Arabidopsis where it is required for the repression of photomorphogenic seedling development in the dark. CSN or CSN-related complexes have by now been reported from most eukaryotic model organisms and CSN has been implicated in a vast array of biological processes. It is widely accepted that CSN directly interacts with cullin-containing E3 ubiquitin ligases, and that CSN is required for their proper function. The requirement of CSN for proper E3 function may at least in part be explained by the observation that CSN subunit 5 (CSN5) is the isopeptidase that deconjugates the essential ubiquitin-like Nedd8 modification from the E3 cullin subunit. In addition to its interaction with E3s, CSN may also regulate proteolysis by its association with protein kinases and de-ubiquitylating enzymes. This review provides a summary of the role of CSN in regulating protein degradation and in eukaryotic development.
Keywords: 26S proteasome; COP9 signalosome; E3 ubiquitin ligase; Proteolysis; Ubiquitin; Development;

Ubiquitin: structures, functions, mechanisms by Cecile M. Pickart; Michael J. Eddins (55-72).
Ubiquitin is the founding member of a family of structurally conserved proteins that regulate a host of processes in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin and its relatives carry out their functions through covalent attachment to other cellular proteins, thereby changing the stability, localization, or activity of the target protein. This article reviews the basic biochemistry of these protein conjugation reactions, focusing on ubiquitin itself and emphasizing recent insights into mechanism and specificity.
Keywords: E1; E2; E3; Nedd8; Sumo; Ubc; Ubiquitin;

Ubiquitin family proteins and their relationship to the proteasome: a structural perspective by Kylie J. Walters; Amanda M. Goh; Qinghua Wang; Gerhard Wagner; Peter M. Howley (73-87).
Many biological processes rely on targeted protein degradation, the dysregulation of which contributes to the pathogenesis of various diseases. Ubiquitin plays a well-established role in this process, in which the covalent attachment of polyubiquitin chains to protein substrates culminates in their degradation via the proteasome. The three-dimensional structural topology of ubiquitin is highly conserved as a domain found in a variety of proteins of diverse biological function. Some of these so-called “ubiquitin family proteins” have recently been shown to bind components of the 26S proteasome via their ubiquitin-like domains, thus implicating proteasome activity in pathways other than protein degradation. In this chapter, we provide a structural perspective of how the ubiquitin family of proteins interacts with the proteasome.
Keywords: Protein degradation; Ubiquitin; Ubiquitin-like domain; Proteasome;

Ubiquitin and endocytic internalization in yeast and animal cells by S. Dupré; D. Urban-Grimal; R. Haguenauer-Tsapis (89-111).
Endocytosis is involved in a wide variety of cellular processes, and the internalization step of endocytosis has been extensively studied in both lower and higher eukaryotic cells. Studies in mammalian cells have described several endocytic pathways, with the main emphasis on clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Genetic studies in yeast have underlined the critical role of actin and actin-binding proteins, lipid modification, and the ubiquitin conjugation system. The combined results of studies of endocytosis in higher and lower eukaryotic cells reveal an interesting interplay in the two systems, including a crucial role for ubiquitin-associated events. The ubiquitylation of yeast cell-surface proteins clearly acts as a signal triggering their internalization. Mammalian cells display variations on the common theme of ubiquitin-linked endocytosis, according to the cell-surface protein considered. Many plasma membrane channels, transporters and receptors undergo cell-surface ubiquitylation, required for the internalization or later endocytic steps of some cell-surface proteins, whereas for others, internalization involves interaction with the ubiquitin conjugation system or with ancillary proteins, which are themselves ubiquitylated. Epsins and Eps15 (or Eps15 homologs), are commonly involved in the process of endocytosis in all eukaryotes, their critical role in this process stemming from their capacity to bind ubiquitin, and to undergo ubiquitylation.
Keywords: Ubiquitin conjugation system; Clathrin-dependent endocytosis; Eukaryotes;

SUMO protein modification by R. Jürgen Dohmen (113-131).
SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) family proteins are not only structurally but also mechanistically related to ubiquitin in that they are posttranslationally attached to other proteins. As ubiquitin, SUMO is covalently linked to its substrates via amide (isopeptide) bonds formed between its C-terminal glycine residue and the ɛ-amino group of internal lysine residues. The enzymes involved in the reversible conjugation of SUMO are similar to those mediating the ubiquitin conjugation. Since its discovery in 1996, SUMO has received a high degree of attention because of its intriguing and essential functions, and because its substrates include a variety of biomedically important proteins such as tumor suppressor p53, c-jun, PML and huntingtin. SUMO modification appears to play important roles in diverse processes such as chromosome segregation and cell division, DNA replication and repair, nuclear protein import, protein targeting to and formation of certain subnuclear structures, and the regulation of a variety of processes including the inflammatory response in mammals and the regulation of flowering time in plants.
Keywords: SUMO; Protein; Modification;

A hitchhiker's guide to the cullin ubiquitin ligases: SCF and its kin by Andrew R. Willems; Michael Schwab; Mike Tyers (133-170).
The SCF (Skp1–Cullin–F-box) E3 ubiquitin ligase family was discovered through genetic requirements for cell cycle progression in budding yeast. In these multisubunit enzymes, an invariant core complex, composed of the Skp1 linker protein, the Cdc53/Cul1 scaffold protein and the Rbx1/Roc1/Hrt1 RING domain protein, engages one of a suite of substrate adaptors called F-box proteins that in turn recruit substrates for ubiquitination by an associated E2 enzyme. The cullin–RING domain–adaptor architecture has diversified through evolution, such that in total many hundreds of distinct SCF and SCF-like complexes enable degradation of myriad substrates. Substrate recognition by adaptors often depends on posttranslational modification of the substrate, which thus places substrate stability under dynamic regulation by intracellular signaling events. SCF complexes control cell proliferation through degradation of critical regulators such as cyclins, CDK inhibitors and transcription factors. A plethora of other processes in development and disease are controlled by other SCF-like complexes, including those based on Cul2–SOCS-box adaptor protein and Cul3–BTB domain adaptor protein combinations. Recent structural insights into SCF-like complexes have begun to illuminate aspects of substrate recognition and catalytic reaction mechanisms.
Keywords: Cullin; F-box; Skp1; SOCS-box; BTB domain; APC/C; Ubiquitin; Proteasome; Cell cycle;

Cooperation of molecular chaperones with the ubiquitin/proteasome system by Claudia Esser; Simon Alberti; Jörg Höhfeld (171-188).
Molecular chaperones and energy-dependent proteases have long been viewed as opposing forces that control protein biogenesis. Molecular chaperones are specialized in protein folding, whereas energy-dependent proteases such as the proteasome mediate efficient protein degradation. Recent data, however, suggest that molecular chaperones directly cooperate with the ubiquitin/proteasome system during protein quality control in eukaryotic cells. Modulating the intracellular balance of protein folding and protein degradation may open new strategies for the treatment of human diseases that involve chaperone pathways such as cancer and diverse amyloid diseases.
Keywords: Molecular chaperone; Ubiquitin/proteasome system; Folding;

Mechanism and function of deubiquitinating enzymes by Alexander Y. Amerik; Mark Hochstrasser (189-207).
Attachment of ubiquitin to proteins is a crucial step in many cellular regulatory mechanisms and contributes to numerous biological processes, including embryonic development, the cell cycle, growth control, and prevention of neurodegeneration. In these diverse regulatory settings, the most widespread mechanism of ubiquitin action is probably in the context of protein degradation. Polyubiquitin attachment targets many intracellular proteins for degradation by the proteasome, and (mono)ubiquitination is often required for down-regulating plasma membrane proteins by targeting them to the vacuole (lysosome). Ubiquitin–protein conjugates are highly dynamic structures. While an array of enzymes directs the conjugation of ubiquitin to substrates, there are also dozens of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) that can reverse the process. Several lines of evidence indicate that DUBs are important regulators of the ubiquitin system. These enzymes are responsible for processing inactive ubiquitin precursors, proofreading ubiquitin–protein conjugates, removing ubiquitin from cellular adducts, and keeping the 26S proteasome free of inhibitory ubiquitin chains. The present review focuses on recent discoveries that have led to a better understanding the mechanisms and physiological roles of this diverse and still poorly understood group of enzymes. We also discuss briefly some of the proteases that act on ubiquitin-like protein (UBL) conjugates and compare them to DUBs.
Keywords: Ubiquitin; Proteasome; Deubiquitinating enzyme;

Proteasomes usually degrade proteins completely into small peptides. In a few cases, however, proteasomal degradation rather results in protein processing, thereby yielding proteins of different biological activity. This process, termed “regulated ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent processing” or RUP, is essential for the function of certain transcription factors and crucial for their regulation. Examples are proteins of the mammalian NF-κB family and the yeast proteins SPT23 and MGA2. In this review, we summarize the available data and suggest a mechanistic model for proteasomal processing.
Keywords: RUP; Processing; CDC48; NF-κB; SPT23; MGA2; ER membrane; OLE pathway;

Endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation—one model fits all? by Christian Hirsch; Ernst Jarosch; Thomas Sommer; Dieter H. Wolf (215-223).
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the eukaryotic organelle where most secretory proteins are folded for subsequent delivery to their site of action. Proper folding of newly synthesized proteins is monitored by a stringent ER quality control system. This system recognizes misfolded or unassembled proteins and prevents them from reaching their final destination. Instead, they are extracted from the ER, polyubiquitinated and degraded by the cytosolic proteasome. With the identification of novel components and substrates, a more and more complex picture of this process emerges in which distinct pathways target different sets of substrates for destruction.
Keywords: ERAD; Endoplasmic reticulum; Quality control; Proteolysis; Ubiquitin; Proteasome; Sec61 complex; Cdc48 complex;

The proteasome and MHC class I antigen processing by Peter-M. Kloetzel (225-233).
By generating peptides from intracellular antigens, which are then presented to T cells, the ubiquitin/26S proteasome system plays a central role in the cellular immune response. Under the control of interferon-γ the proteolytic properties of the proteasome are adapted to the requirements of the immune system. Interferon-γ  induces the formation of immunoproteasomes and the synthesis of the proteasome activator PA28. Both alter the proteolytic properties of the proteasome complex and enhance proteasomal function in antigen presentation. Thus, a combination of several of regulatory events tunes the proteasome system for maximal efficiency in the generation of MHC class I antigens.
Keywords: Proteasome; Immune response; Antigen presentation; MHC-complex; Intereferon-γ; Interferon; Antigen processing;

Ubiquitin, proteasome and parkin by Keiji Tanaka; Toshiaki Suzuki; Nobutaka Hattori; Yoshikuni Mizuno (235-247).
The ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) is important for intracellular proteolysis, and is responsible for a diverse array of biologically important cellular processes, such as cell-cycle progression, signaling cascades and developmental programs. This system is also involved in the protein quality control, which maintains the health of the cell. Thus, the UPS provides a clue for understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying various neurodegenerative diseases. In the last decade, we witnessed a tremendous progress in uncovering the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease (PD). Of the several genes that can cause familial PD, parkin, the causative gene of autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (ARJP), is of a special interest because it encodes an ubiquitin-protein ligase, which covalently attaches ubiquitin to target proteins, designating them for destruction by the proteasome. This review summarizes recent studies on the UPS pathway with a special reference to parkin, focusing on how parkin is linked to the pathogenesis of ARJP.
Keywords: Neurodegeneration; Parkin; Parkinson's disease; Proteasome; Quality control; Ubiquitin;

Author Index (249).