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Published January 1997 | public
Journal Article

The N-end rule pathway of protein degradation


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. Ubiquitin is a 76‐residue protein whose covalent conjugation to other proteins plays a role in many biological processes, including cell growth and differentiation. I discuss the current understanding of the N‐end rule pathway.

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© 1997 Blackwell Science Limited. 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 I thank colleagues whose names are cited in the text for their permission to discuss unpublished data.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 NIH and the Association for the Cure of the Cancer of the Prostate. This article is a modified and updated version of an earlier review (Varshavsky 1996b).

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