News FocusCell Biology

Ubiquitin Lives Up to Its Name

Science  13 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5588, pp. 1792-1794
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5588.1792

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Researchers are discovering that the cleanup protein ubiquitin has a hand in everything from directing protein traffic to regulating gene activity. The multipurpose molecule also helps regulate the many signaling pathways that control the cell's responses to environmental and other changes. Indeed, the organizers of a recent meeting on the subject say that ubiquitin's actions in the cell might be as pervasive--and as important--as those of the well-known regulator phosphate, which controls the activities of thousands of proteins.