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Ubiquitin Stimulation of Transcription

STKE  04 Sep 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 98, pp. tw10
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.98.tw10

The herpes simplex virus transcription factor VP16 has long been studied for its ability to activate transcription. Similar to other transcription activators, VP16 has a transcription activation domain that overlaps with a domain that signals its degradation. Is there a mechanistic link between transcription and proteolysis? Salghetti et al. show that in yeast, the Met30 subunit of a ubiquitin ligase is required not only for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway but also for transcriptional activation by VP16. The process of transcription activation was separated from proteolysis by artificially ubiquitinating VP16. Ubiquitin may be fulfilling this additional role, separate from that in protein degradation, by recruiting the proteasome.

S. E. Salghetti, A. A. Caudy, J. G. Chenoweth, W. P. Tansey, Regulation of transcriptional activation domain function by ubiquitin. Science 293, 1651-1653 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]