Protein ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that entails the covalent attachment of the small protein ubiquitin (Ub), which acts as a signal to direct protein stability, localization, or interactions. The Ub code is written by a family of enzymes called E3 Ub ligases (∼600 members in humans), which can catalyze the transfer of either a single ubiquitin or the formation of a diverse array of polyubiquitin chains. This code can be edited or erased by a different set of enzymes termed deubiquitinases (DUBs; ∼100 members in humans). While enzymes from these distinct families have seemingly opposing activities, certain E3–DUB pairings can also synergize to regulate vital cellular processes like gene expression, autophagy, innate immunity, and cell proliferation. In this review, we highlight recent studies describing Ub ligase-DUB interactions and focus on their relationships.

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