Ubiquitin chain diversity at a glance

Masato Akutsu, Ivan Dikic, Anja Bremm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

369 Citations (Scopus)


Ubiquitin plays an essential role in modulating protein functions, and deregulation of the ubiquitin system leads to the development of multiple human diseases. Owing to its molecular features, ubiquitin can form various homo- and heterotypic polymers on substrate proteins, thereby provoking distinct cellular responses. The concept of multifaceted ubiquitin chains encoding different functions has been substantiated in recent years. It has been established that all possible ubiquitin linkage types are utilized for chain assembly and propagation of specific signals in vivo. In addition, branched ubiquitin chains and phosphorylated ubiquitin molecules have been put under the spotlight recently. The development of novel technologies has provided detailed insights into the structure and function of previously poorly understood ubiquitin signals. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and accompanying poster, we provide an update on the complexity of ubiquitin chains and their physiological relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-880
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Atypical ubiquitin linkages
  • Phospho-ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitin chains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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