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1.  Deubiquitylating enzymes and disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S3.
Deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) can hydrolyze a peptide, amide, ester or thiolester bond at the C-terminus of UBIQ (ubiquitin), including the post-translationally formed branched peptide bonds in mono- or multi-ubiquitylated conjugates. DUBs thus have the potential to regulate any UBIQ-mediated cellular process, the two best characterized being proteolysis and protein trafficking. Mammals contain some 80–90 DUBs in five different subfamilies, only a handful of which have been characterized with respect to the proteins that they interact with and deubiquitylate. Several other DUBs have been implicated in various disease processes in which they are changed by mutation, have altered expression levels, and/or form part of regulatory complexes. Specific examples of DUB involvement in various diseases are presented. While no specific drugs targeting DUBs have yet been described, sufficient functional and structural information has accumulated in some cases to allow their rapid development.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582804  PMID: 19007433
2.  The UPS: a promising target for breast cancer treatment 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S2.
During the past decade, progress in endocrine therapy and the use of trastuzumab has significantly contributed to the decline in breast cancer mortality for hormone receptor-positive and ERBB2 (HER2)-positive cases, respectively. As a result of these advances, a breast cancer cluster with poor prognosis that is negative for the estrogen receptor (ESR1), the progesterone receptor (PRGR) and ERBB2 (triple negative) has come to the forefront of medical therapeutic attention. DNA microarray analyses have revealed that this cluster is phenotypically most like the basal-like breast cancer that is caused by deficiencies in the BRCA1 pathways. To gain further improvements in breast cancer survival, new types of drugs might be required, and small molecules targeting the ubiquitin proteasome system have moved into the spotlight. The success of bortezomib in the treatment of multiple myeloma has sent encouraging signals that proteasome inhibitors could be used to treat other types of cancers. In addition, ubiquitin E3s involved in ESR1, ERBB2 or BRCA1 pathways could be ideal targets for therapeutic intervention. This review summarizes the ubiquitin proteasome pathways related to these proteins and discusses the possibility of new drugs for the treatment of breast cancers.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582803  PMID: 19007432
3.  The ubiquitin system, disease, and drug discovery 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S7.
The ubiquitin system of protein modification has emerged as a crucial mechanism involved in the regulation of a wide array of cellular processes. As our knowledge of the pathways in this system has grown, so have the ties between the protein ubiquitin and human disease. The power of the ubiquitin system for therapeutic benefit blossomed with the approval of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade in 2003 by the FDA. Current drug discovery activities in the ubiquitin system seek to (i) expand the development of new proteasome inhibitors with distinct mechanisms of action and improved bioavailability, and (ii) validate new targets. This review summarizes our current understanding of the role of the ubiquitin system in various human diseases ranging from cancer, viral infection and neurodegenerative disorders to muscle wasting, diabetes and inflammation. I provide an introduction to the ubiquitin system, highlight some emerging relationships between the ubiquitin system and disease, and discuss current and future efforts to harness aspects of this potentially powerful system for improving human health.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582801  PMID: 19007437
4.  Role of the UPS in Liddle syndrome 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S5.
Hypertension is a serious medical problem affecting a large population worldwide. Liddle syndrome is a hereditary form of early onset hypertension caused by mutations in the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). The mutated region, called the PY (Pro-Pro-x-Tyr) motif, serves as a binding site for Nedd4-2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase from the HECT family. Nedd4-2 binds the ENaC PY motif via its WW domains, normally leading to ENaC ubiquitylation and endocytosis, reducing the number of active channels at the plasma membrane. In Liddle syndrome, this endocytosis is impaired due to the inability of the mutated PY motif in ENaC to properly bind Nedd4-2. This leads to accumulation of active channels at the cell surface and increased Na+ (and fluid) absorption in the distal nephron, resulting in elevated blood volume and blood pressure. Small molecules/compounds that destabilize cell surface ENaC, or enhance Nedd4-2 activity in the kidney, could potentially serve to alleviate hypertension.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582799  PMID: 19007435
5.  HPV E6, E6AP and cervical cancer 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S4.
Every year, approximately 470,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed and approximately 230,000 women worldwide die of the disease, with the majority (~80%) of these cases and deaths occurring in developing countries. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the etiological agents in nearly all cases (99.7%) of cervical cancer, and the HPV E6 protein is one of two viral oncoproteins that is expressed in virtually all HPV-positive cancers. E6 hijacks a cellular ubiquitin ligase, E6AP, resulting in the ubiquitylation and degradation of the p53 tumor suppressor, as well as several other cellular proteins. While the recent introduction of prophylactic vaccines against specific HPV types offers great promise for prevention of cervical cancer, there remains a need for therapeutics. Biochemical characterization of E6 and E6AP has suggested approaches for interfering with the activities of these proteins that could be useful for this purpose.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582798  PMID: 19007434
6.  The UPS in diabetes and obesity 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S6.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by defects in both insulin signaling and insulin secretion. Though the role of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes remains largely unexplored, the few examples present in the literature are interesting and suggest targets for drug development. Studies indicate that insulin resistance can be induced by stimulating the degradation of important molecules in the insulin signaling pathway, in particular the insulin receptor substrate proteins IRS1, IRS2 and the kinase AKT1 (Akt). In addition, a defect in insulin secretion could occur due to UPS-mediated degradation of IRS2 in the β-cells of the pancreas. The UPS also appears to be involved in regulating lipid synthesis in adipocytes and lipid production by the liver and could influence the development of obesity. Other possible mechanisms for inducing defects in insulin signaling and secretion remain to be explored, including the role of ubiquitylation in insulin receptor internalization and trafficking.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582800  PMID: 19007436
7.  Targeting the UPS as therapy in multiple myeloma 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9(Suppl 1):S1.
The coordinated regulation of cellular protein synthesis and degradation is essential for normal cellular functioning. The ubiquitin proteasome system mediates the intracellular protein degradation that is required for normal cellular homeostasis. The 26S proteasome is a multi-enzyme protease that degrades redundant proteins; conversely, inhibition of proteasomal degradation results in intracellular aggregation of unwanted proteins and cell death. This observation led to the development of proteasome inhibitors as therapeutics for use in cancer. The clinical applicability of targeting proteasomes is exemplified by the recent FDA approval of the first proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Although bortezomib represents a major advance in the treatment of this disease, it can be associated with toxicity and the development of drug resistance. Importantly, extensive preclinical studies suggest that combination therapies can both circumvent drug resistance and reduce toxicity. In addition, promising novel proteasome inhibitors, which are distinct from bortezomib, and exhibit equipotent anti-multiple myeloma activities, are undergoing clinical evaluation in order to improve patient outcome in multiple myeloma.
Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2582802  PMID: 19007431
8.  Roles and potential therapeutic targets of the ubiquitin proteasome system in muscle wasting 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S7.
Muscle wasting, characterized by the loss of protein mass in myofibers, is in most cases largely due to the activation of intracellular protein degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). During the last decade, mechanisms contributing to this activation have been unraveled and key mediators of this process identified. Even though much remains to be understood, the available information already suggests screens for new compounds inhibiting these mechanisms and highlights the potential for pharmaceutical drugs able to treat muscle wasting when it becomes deleterious. This review presents an overview of the main pathways contributing to UPS activation in muscle and describes the present state of efforts made to develop new strategies aimed at blocking or slowing muscle wasting.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106371  PMID: 18047744
9.  HECT E3s and human disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S6.
In a simplified view, members of the HECT E3 family have a modular structure consisting of the C-terminal HECT domain, which is catalytically involved in the attachment of ubiquitin to substrate proteins, and N-terminal extensions of variable length and sequence that mediate the substrate specificity of the respective HECT E3. Although the physiologically relevant substrates of most HECT E3s have remained elusive, it is becoming increasingly clear that HECT E3s play an important role in sporadic and hereditary human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular (Liddle's syndrome) and neurological (Angelman syndrome) disorders, and/or in disease-relevant processes including bone homeostasis, immune response and retroviral budding. Thus, molecular approaches to target the activity of distinct HECT E3s, regulators thereof, and/or of HECT E3 substrates could prove valuable in the treatment of the respective diseases.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106370  PMID: 18047743
10.  Ubiquitin-mediated signalling and Paget's disease of bone 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S5.
Multiple steps in the RANK-NF-κB signalling pathway are regulated by ubiquitylation. Mutations affecting different components of this pathway, including the ubiquitin binding p62 signalling adapter protein, are found in patients with Paget's disease of bone or related syndromes. Here, we review the molecular defects and potential disease mechanisms in these conditions and conclude that the mutations may confer a common increased sensitivity of osteoclasts to cytokines, resulting in disordered NF-κB-dependent osteoclast function. Modulation of the osteoclast RANK-NF-κB signalling axis may represent a viable therapeutic strategy for Paget's disease and other conditions where excessive bone resorption or remodelling is a feature.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106369  PMID: 18047742
11.  Role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in renal cell carcinoma 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S4.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for approximately 2.6% of all cancers in the United States. While early stage disease is curable by surgery, the median survival of metastatic disease is only 13 months. In the last decade, there has been considerable progress in understanding the genetics of RCC. The VHL tumor suppressor gene is inactivated in the majority of RCC cases. The VHL protein (pVHL) acts as an E3 ligase that targets HIF-1, the hypoxia inducible transcription factor, for degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). In RCC cases with mutant pVHL, HIF-1 is stabilized and aberrantly expressed in normoxia, leading to the activation of pro-survival genes such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This review will focus on the defect in the UPS that underlies RCC and describe the development of novel therapies that target the UPS.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106368  PMID: 18047741
12.  Role of proteasomes in disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S3.
A functional ubiquitin proteasome system is essential for all eukaryotic cells and therefore any alteration to its components has potential pathological consequences. Though the exact underlying mechanism is unclear, an age-related decrease in proteasome activity weakens cellular capacity to remove oxidatively modified proteins and favours the development of neurodegenerative and cardiac diseases. Up-regulation of proteasome activity is characteristic of muscle wasting conditions including sepsis, cachexia and uraemia, but may not be rate limiting. Meanwhile, enhanced presence of immunoproteasomes in aging brain and muscle tissue could reflect a persistent inflammatory defence and anti-stress mechanism, whereas in cancer cells, their down-regulation reflects a means by which to escape immune surveillance. Hence, induction of apoptosis by synthetic proteasome inhibitors is a potential treatment strategy for cancer, whereas for other diseases such as neurodegeneration, the use of proteasome-activating or -modulating compounds could be more effective.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106367  PMID: 18047740
13.  Patented small molecule inhibitors in the ubiquitin proteasome system 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S14.
Deregulation of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The recent approval of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade® (bortezomib) for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma establishes this system as a valid target for cancer treatment. We review here new patented proteasome inhibitors and patented small molecule inhibitors targeting more specific UPS components, such as E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitylating enzymes.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106365  PMID: 18047738
14.  Role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in Parkinson's disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S13.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Although a subject of intense research, the etiology of PD remains poorly understood. Recently, several lines of evidence have implicated an intimate link between aberrations in the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) and PD pathogenesis. Derangements of the UPS, which normally functions as a type of protein degradation machinery, lead to alterations in protein homeostasis that could conceivably promote the toxic accumulation of proteins detrimental to neuronal survival. Not surprisingly, various cellular and animal models of PD that are based on direct disruption of UPS function reproduce the most prominent features of PD. Although persuasive, new developments in the past few years have in fact raised serious questions about the link between the UPS and PD. Here I review current thoughts and controversies about their relationship and discuss whether strategies aimed at mitigating UPS dysfunction could represent rational ways to intervene in the disease.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106364  PMID: 18047737
15.  Role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in Alzheimer's disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S12.
Though Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a syndrome with well-defined clinical and neuropathological manifestations, an array of molecular defects underlies its pathology. A role for the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) was suspected in the pathogenesis of AD since the presence of ubiquitin immunoreactivity in AD-related neuronal inclusions, such as neurofibrillary tangles, is seen in all AD cases. Recent studies have indicated that components of the UPS could be linked to the early phase of AD, which is marked by synaptic dysfunction, as well as to the late stages of the disease, characterized by neurodegeneration. Insoluble protein aggregates in the brain of AD patients could result from malfunction or overload of the UPS, or from structural changes in the protein substrates, which prevent their recognition and degradation by the UPS. Defective proteolysis could cause the synaptic dysfunction observed early in AD since the UPS is known to play a role in the normal functioning of synapses. In this review, we discuss recent observations on possible links between the UPS and AD, and the potential for utilizing UPS components as targets for treatment of this disease.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106363  PMID: 18047736
16.  The role of the UPS in cystic fibrosis 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S11.
CF is an inherited autosomal recessive disease whose lethality arises from malfunction of CFTR, a single chloride (Cl-) ion channel protein. CF patients harbor mutations in the CFTR gene that lead to misfolding of the resulting CFTR protein, rendering it inactive and mislocalized. Hundreds of CF-related mutations have been identified, many of which abrogate CFTR folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). More than 70% of patients harbor the ΔF508 CFTR mutation that causes misfolding of the CFTR proteins. Consequently, mutant CFTR is unable to reach the apical plasma membrane of epithelial cells that line the lungs and gut, and is instead targeted for degradation by the UPS. Proteins located in both the cytoplasm and ER membrane are believed to identify misfolded CFTR for UPS-mediated degradation. The aberrantly folded CFTR protein then undergoes polyubiquitylation, carried out by an E1-E2-E3 ubiquitin ligase system, leading to degradation by the 26S proteasome. This ubiquitin-dependent loss of misfolded CFTR protein can be inhibited by the application of ‘corrector’ drugs that aid CFTR folding, shielding it from the UPS machinery. Corrector molecules elevate cellular CFTR protein levels by protecting the protein from degradation and aiding folding, promoting its maturation and localization to the apical plasma membrane. Combinatory application of corrector drugs with activator molecules that enhance CFTR Cl- ion channel activity offers significant potential for treatment of CF patients.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106362  PMID: 18047735
17.  The Fanconi anemia pathway and ubiquitin 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S10.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by aplastic anemia, cancer/leukemia susceptibility and cellular hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, such as cisplatin. To date, 12 FA gene products have been identified, which cooperate in a common DNA damage-activated signaling pathway regulating DNA repair (the FA pathway). Eight FA proteins form a nuclear complex harboring E3 ubiquitin ligase activity (the FA core complex) that, in response to DNA damage, mediates the monoubiquitylation of the FA protein FANCD2. Monoubiquitylated FANCD2 colocalizes in nuclear foci with proteins involved in DNA repair, including BRCA1, FANCD1/BRCA2, FANCN/PALB2 and RAD51. All these factors are required for cellular resistance to DNA crosslinking agents. The inactivation of the FA pathway has also been observed in a wide variety of human cancers and is implicated in the sensitivity of cancer cells to DNA crosslinking agents. Drugs that inhibit the FA pathway may be useful chemosensitizers in the treatment of cancer.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106361  PMID: 18047734
18.  Ubiquitin domain proteins in disease 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S1.
The human genome encodes several ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain proteins (UDPs). Members of this protein family are involved in a variety of cellular functions and many are connected to the ubiquitin proteasome system, an essential pathway for protein degradation in eukaryotic cells. Despite their structural similarity, the UBL domains appear to have a range of different targets, resulting in a considerable diversity with respect to UDP function. Here, we give a short summary of the biochemical and physiological roles of the UDPs, which have been linked to human diseases including neurodegeneration and cancer.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106360  PMID: 18047733
19.  Wrenches in the works: drug discovery targeting the SCF ubiquitin ligase and APC/C complexes 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S9.
Recently, the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) has matured as a drug discovery arena, largely on the strength of the proven clinical activity of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade in multiple myeloma. Ubiquitin ligases tag cellular proteins, such as oncogenes and tumor suppressors, with ubiquitin. Once tagged, these proteins are degraded by the proteasome. The specificity of this degradation system for particular substrates lies with the E3 component of the ubiquitin ligase system (ubiquitin is transferred from an E1 enzyme to an E2 enzyme and finally, thanks to an E3 enzyme, directly to a specific substrate). The clinical effectiveness of Velcade (as it theoretically should inhibit the output of all ubiquitin ligases active in the cell simultaneously) suggests that modulating specific ubiquitin ligases could result in an even better therapeutic ratio. At present, the only ubiquitin ligase leads that have been reported inhibit the degradation of p53 by Mdm2, but these have not yet been developed into clinical therapeutics. In this review, we discuss the biological rationale, assays, genomics, proteomics and three-dimensional structures pertaining to key targets within the UPS (SCFSkp2 and APC/C) in order to assess their drug development potential.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106342  PMID: 18047746
20.  Role of the ubiquitin system and tumor viruses in AIDS-related cancer 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S8.
Tumor viruses are linked to approximately 20% of human malignancies worldwide. This review focuses on examples of human oncogenic viruses that manipulate the ubiquitin system in a subset of viral malignancies; those associated with AIDS. The viruses include Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus and human papilloma virus, which are causally linked to Kaposi's sarcoma, certain B-cell lymphomas and cervical cancer, respectively. We discuss the molecular mechanisms by which these viruses subvert the ubiquitin system and potential viral targets for anti-cancer therapy from the perspective of this system.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106372  PMID: 18047745
21.  The ubiquitin proteasome system in Huntington's disease and the spinocerebellar ataxias 
BMC Biochemistry  2007;8(Suppl 1):S2.
Huntington's disease and several of the spinocerebellar ataxias are caused by the abnormal expansion of a CAG repeat within the coding region of the disease gene. This results in the production of a mutant protein with an abnormally expanded polyglutamine tract. Although these disorders have a clear monogenic cause, each polyglutamine expansion mutation is likely to cause the dysfunction of many pathways and processes within the cell. It has been proposed that the ubiquitin proteasome system is impaired in polyglutamine expansion disorders and that this contributes to pathology. However, this is controversial with some groups demonstrating decreased proteasome activity in polyglutamine expansion disorders, some showing no change in activity and others demonstrating an increase in proteasome activity. It remains unknown whether the ubiquitin proteasome system is a feasible therapeutic target in these disorders. Here we review the conflicting results obtained from different assays performed in a variety of different systems.
Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ).
PMCID: PMC2106366  PMID: 18047739

Results 1-21 (21)