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The proteasome is a garbage disposal unit in eukaryotic cells that degrades proteins tagged with ubiquitin molecules. In their Perspective, Ottosen and colleagues discuss new findings ( Gonzalez et al.) revealing that certain components of the proteasome may be involved in processes other than protein degradation. Six ATPases in the base section of the 19 S proteasomal subcomplex are recruited to sites of gene activation, suggesting that they may be involved in transcription.