Panel of Engineered Ubiquitin Variants Targeting the Family of Human Ubiquitin Interacting Motifs.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


ACS Chem Biol, Volume 17, Issue 4, p.941-956 (2022)


Humans, Protein Binding, Proteins, Ubiquitin


<p>Ubiquitin (Ub)-binding domains embedded in intracellular proteins act as readers of the complex Ub code and contribute to regulation of numerous eukaryotic processes. Ub-interacting motifs (UIMs) are short α-helical modular recognition elements whose role in controlling proteostasis and signal transduction has been poorly investigated. Moreover, impaired or aberrant activity of UIM-containing proteins has been implicated in numerous diseases, but targeting modular recognition elements in proteins remains a major challenge. To overcome this limitation, we developed Ub variants (UbVs) that bind to 42 UIMs in the human proteome with high affinity and specificity. Structural analysis of a UbV:UIM complex revealed the molecular determinants of enhanced affinity and specificity. Furthermore, we showed that a UbV targeting a UIM in the cancer-associated Ub-specific protease 28 potently inhibited catalytic activity. Our work demonstrates the versatility of UbVs to target short α-helical Ub receptors with high affinity and specificity. Moreover, the UbVs provide a toolkit to investigate the role of UIMs in regulating and transducing Ub signals and establish a general strategy for the systematic development of probes for Ub-binding domains.</p>