Concept

Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme

Summary
Ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, also known as E2 enzymes and more rarely as ubiquitin-carrier enzymes, perform the second step in the ubiquitination reaction that targets a protein for degradation via the proteasome. The ubiquitination process covalently attaches ubiquitin, a short protein of 76 amino acids, to a lysine residue on the target protein. Once a protein has been tagged with one ubiquitin molecule, additional rounds of ubiquitination form a polyubiquitin chain that is recognized by the proteasome's 19S regulatory particle, triggering the ATP-dependent unfolding of the target protein that allows passage into the proteasome's 20S core particle, where proteases degrade the target into short peptide fragments for recycling by the cell. Relationships A ubiquitin-activating enzyme, or E1, first activates the ubiquitin by covalently attaching the molecule to its active site cysteine residue. The activated ubiquitin is then transferred to an E2 cysteine.
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