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

UBA 1: an essential yeast gene encoding ubiquitin-activating enzyme.

All known functions of ubiquitin are mediated through its covalent attachment to other proteins. The post-translational formation of ubiquitin--protein conjugates is preceded by an ATP-requiring step in which the carboxyl terminus of ubiquitin is adenylated and subsequently joined, through a thiolester bond, to a cysteine residue in the ubiquitin-activating enzyme, also known as E1. We report the isolation and functional analysis of the gene (UBA1) for the ubiquitin-activating enzyme of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. UBA1 encodes a 114 kd protein whose amino acid sequence contains motifs characteristic of nucleotide-binding sites. Expression of catalytically active UBA1 protein in E. coli, which lacks the ubiquitin system, confirmed that the yeast UBA1 gene encodes a ubiquitin-activating enzyme. Deletion of the UBA1 gene is lethal, demonstrating that the formation of ubiquitin--protein conjugates is essential for cell viability.[1]


  1. UBA 1: an essential yeast gene encoding ubiquitin-activating enzyme. McGrath, J.P., Jentsch, S., Varshavsky, A. EMBO J. (1991) [Pubmed]
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