Using proteomics to identify ubiquitin ligase–substrate pairs

how novel methods may unveil therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases

Stephanie L. Rayner, Marco Morsch, Mark P. Molloy, Bingyang Shi, Roger Chung, Albert Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Ubiquitin ligases play an integral role in fine-tuning signaling cascades necessary for normal cell function. Aberrant regulation of ubiquitin ligases has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, generally, due to mutations within the E3 ligase itself. Several proteomic-based methods have recently emerged to facilitate the rapid identification of ligase–substrate pairs—a previously challenging feat due to the transient nature of ligase–substrate interactions. These novel methods complement standard immunoprecipitations (IPs) and include proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID), ubiquitin ligase–substrate trapping, tandem ubiquitin-binding entities (TUBEs), and a molecular trapping unit known as the NEDDylator. The implementation of these techniques is expected to facilitate the rapid identification of novel substrates of E3 ubiquitin ligases, a process that is likely to enhance our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and highlight novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2499–2510
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number13
Early online date27 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019



  • BioID
  • E3 ubiquitin ligases
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Ligase trapping
  • NEDDylator
  • Proteomics
  • TUBE
  • Ubiquitylation

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