Cullins are a family of hydrophobic proteins providing a scaffold for ubiquitin ligases (E3). All eukaryotes appear to have cullins. They combine with RING proteins to form Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases (CRLs) that are highly diverse and play a role in myriad cellular processes.
Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases (CRLs), such as Cul1 (SCF) play an essential role in targeting proteins for ubiquitin-mediated destruction; as such, they are diverse in terms of composition and function, regulating many different processes from glucose sensing and DNA replication to limb patterning and circadian rhythms. The catalytic core of CRLs consists of a RING protein and a cullin family member. For Cul1, the C-terminal cullin-homology domain binds the RING protein. The RING protein appears to function as a docking site for ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s). Other proteins contain a cullin-homology domain, such as CUL9, also known as p53cytoplasmic anchor PARC, and the ANAPC2 subunit of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome; both CUL9 and ANAPC2 have ubiquitin ligase activity. The N-terminal region of cullins is more variable, and is used to interact with specific adaptor proteins.
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