Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 529 - 539 (2019)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.190260eb
© UPV/EHU Press

Dictyostelium as model for studying ubiquitination and deubiquitination

Barbara Pergolizzi*,1, Salvatore Bozzaro1 and Enrico Bracco*,2

1Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences and 2Department of Oncology, University of Torino, AOU S. Luigi, Orbassano (TO), Italy

ABSTRACT By protein quality control and degradation, the ubiquitin system drives many essential regulatory processes such as cell cycle and division, signalling, DNA replication and repair. Therefore, dysfunctions in the ubiquitin system lead to many human disease states. However, despite the immense progress made over the last couple of decades, it appears that the ubiquitin system is more complex and multi-faced than formerly expected. In addition to a rich repertoire of ubiquitin, ubiquitin conjugating and de-ubiquitylating enzymes, the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum genome encodes also for a wide array of ubiquitin binding domain-containing proteins, thus offering the possibility to explore the biology of the ubiquitin system from cell and molecular biology points of view. We here provide an overview on the current knowledge about the Ub-system components and we discuss how Dictyostelium might be an outstanding eukaryotic cell model for unravelling the still mostly unknown ubiquitination mechanisms of some human diseases.

Keywords:

Dictyostelium, human malignancies, ubiquitin system, PTM

*Corresponding author e-mail: barbara.pergolizzi@unito.it ; enrico.bracco@unito.it