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Published October 29, 1996 | Published
Journal Article Open

The N-end rule: Functions, mysteries, uses


The N-end rule relates the in vivo half-life of a protein to the identity of its N-terminal residue. Similar but distinct versions of the N-end rule operate in all organisms examined, from mammals to fungi and bacteria. In eukaryotes, the N-end rule pathway is a part of the ubiquitin system. I discuss the mechanisms and functions of this pathway, and consider its applications.

Additional Information

© 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences Contributed by Alexander Varshavsky, August 6, 1996. This contribution is part of the special series of Inaugural Articles by members of the National Academy of Sciences elected on April 25, 1995. I am grateful to the current and former members of the laboratory whose work on the N-end rule is described in this review. I thank colleagues whose names are cited in the text for their permission to discuss unpublished data. Our studies are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Association for the Cure of Cancer of the Prostate.

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