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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A rabbit reticulocyte ubiquitin carrier protein that supports ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis (E214k) is homologous to the yeast DNA repair gene RAD6.

The two isoforms of the 14-kDa ubiquitin carrier protein (E2(14k)) are unique among rabbit E2s in efficiently supporting ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3)-mediated ubiquitination of proteins destined for degradation. To begin determining the structural basis for this property, we have isolated a cDNA encoding the predominant reticulocyte isoform of the E2 from a rabbit skeletal muscle library. The sequence predicts a protein of 152 amino acids with a molecular weight of 17,293. Expression of the cDNA in Escherichia coli and purification of the recombinant protein revealed an E2 with high affinity for E3 and ubiquitin activating enzyme (E1). The latter high affinity interaction appears to be between the ubiquitin charged form of E1 and the uncharged form of E2 and does not result in a stable complex between these two enzymes. The predicted sequence shows regions of strong homology with other sequenced E2s, suggesting that these regions may be involved in binding to E1 and/or in ubiquitin transfer from E1, functions common to all E2s. Surprisingly, the E2(14k)) sequence is markedly more similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae RAD6 (69% identity) than to its proposed homologs UBC4/UBC5 (38% identity). The sequence is identical to that recently reported for a human 17-kDa E2 which can complement rad6 mutants thereby identifying rabbit E2(14k) as a RAD6 homologue. The biochemical properties of this previously uncharacterized human 17-kDa E2 are now defined and its misassignment as a homologue of rabbit E2(17k) is corrected. Our findings resolve current confusion regarding relationships among E2s and define yeast RAD6, rabbit E2(14k), and the human 17-kDa E2 as a subclass of E2s which biochemically support E3- mediated conjugation and ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis and physiologically play a role in DNA repair.[1]


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