Molecular Mechanisms of DUBs Regulation in Signaling and Disease

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The large family of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are involved in the regulation of a plethora of processes carried out inside the cell by protein ubiquitination. Ubiquitination is a basic pathway responsible for the correct protein homeostasis in the cell, which could regulate the fate of proteins through the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS). In this review we will focus on recent advances on the molecular mechanisms and specificities found for some types of DUBs enzymes, highlighting illustrative examples in which the regulatory mechanism for DUBs has been understood in depth at the molecular level by structural biology. DUB proteases are responsible for cleavage and regulation of the multiple types of ubiquitin linkages that can be synthesized inside the cell, known as the ubiquitin-code, which are tightly connected to specific substrate functions. We will display some strategies carried out by members of different DUB families to provide specificity on the cleavage of particular ubiquitin linkages. Finally, we will also discuss recent progress made for the development of drug compounds targeting DUB proteases, which are usually correlated to the progress of many pathologies such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number986
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • DUBs
  • Deubiquitinating enzymes
  • Proteasome
  • Protein degradation
  • Structural analysis
  • UPS
  • USPs
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitin-code
  • Neoplasms/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Humans
  • Ubiquitination
  • Animals
  • Proteolysis
  • Deubiquitinating Enzymes/chemistry
  • proteasome
  • ubiquitin-code
  • deubiquitinating enzymes
  • ubiquitin
  • structural analysis
  • protein degradation


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