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Regulated degradation of proteins is essential for viability and is involved in the control of many signal transduction pathways. von Arnim discusses a new model for how substrates destined for degradation by the 26S proteasome may be presented to the proteasome through a physical interaction between the proteasome and a complex consisting of the substrate and a ubiquitin-ligase. The new model suggests that the SCF (Skp1/cullin/F-box) protein complex may physically associate with the proteasome and that this interaction may be regulated by posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation or the covalent attachment of the Nedd8 protein, called neddylation. Additionally, other proteins may compete with the SCF complexes for binding to the proteasome and thus present another layer of regulation for controlling substrate targeting for ubiquitin-mediated degradation.