The regulation of ubiquitylation is key for plant growth and development, in which the activities of ubiquitylating enzymes as well as deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) determine the stability or function of the modified proteins. In contrast with ubiquitylating enzymes, there are less numbers of DUBs. DUBs can be classified into seven protein families according to the amino acid sequence of their catalytic domains. The catalytic domains of animal and plant DUB families show high homology, whereas the regions outside of the catalytic site can vary a lot. By hydrolyzing the ubiquitin molecules from ubiquitylated proteins, DUBs control ubiquitin-dependent selective protein degradation pathways such as the proteasomal-, autophagic-, and endocytic degradation pathways. In the endocytic degradation pathway, DUBs can modulate the endocytic trafficking and thus the stability of plasma membrane proteins including receptors and transporters. To date, three DUB families were shown to control the endocytic degradation pathway namely associated molecule with the SH3 domain of STAM (AMSH) 3, ubiquitin-specific protease (UBP) 12 and UBP13, and ovarian tumor protease (OTU) 11 and OTU12. In this review we will summarize the activity, molecular functions, and target protein of these DUBs and how they contribute to the environmental response of plants.

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