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Signal transduction processes can be regulated by biochemical modifications that affect protein activity or localization and by protein stability. Proteins implicated in cancer, such as β-catenin and p53, are regulated by a combination of posttranslational modifications and protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Wood explores how ubiquitylation of these proteins may not be as unidirectional as previously thought. With the identification of substrate-specific deubiquitylating enzymes, ubiquitylation may not always lead to protein destruction, but may provide another finely tunable step for controlling protein activity.