The E3 ligase Itch in immune regulation and beyond

Daisuke Aki, Wen Zhang, Yun Cai Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Itch or itchy E3 ubiquitin ligase was initially discovered by genetic studies on the mouse coat color changes, and its deletion results in an itchy phenotype with constant skin scratching and multi-organ inflammation. It is a member of the homologous to E6-associated protein C-terminus (HECT)-type family of E3 ligases, with the protein-interacting WW-domains for the recruitment of substrate and the HECT domain for the transfer of ubiquitin to the substrate. Since its discovery, numerous studies have demonstrated that Itch is involved in the control of many aspects of immune responses including T-cell activation and tolerance and T-helper cell differentiation. Itch is also implicated in other biological contexts such as tumorigenesis, development, and stress responses. Many signaling pathways are regulated by Itch-promoted ubiquitylation of diverse target proteins. Itch is also involved in human diseases. Here, we discuss the major progress in understanding the biological significance of Itch-promoted protein ubiquitylation in the immune and other systems and in Itch-mediated regulation of signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-26
Number of pages21
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • HECT-type E3
  • Itch
  • The immune system
  • Ubiquitylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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