Baek, K., Scott, D.C., and Schulman, B.A.
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 2020, 67, 101-109
NEDD8 and ubiquitin ligation by cullin-RING E3 ligases
RING E3s comprise the largest family of ubiquitin (UB) and ubiquitin-like protein (UBL) ligases. RING E3s typically promote UB or UBL transfer from the active site of an associated E2 enzyme to a distally-recruited substrate. Many RING E3s - including the cullin-RING ligase family - are multifunctional, interacting with various E2s (or other E3s) to target distinct proteins, transfer different UBLs, or to initially modify substrates with UB or subsequently elongate UB chains. Here we consider recent structures of cullin-RING ligases, and their partner E2 enzymes, representing ligation reactions. The studies collectively reveal multimodal mechanisms - interactions between ancillary E2 or E3 domains, post-translational modifications, or auxiliary binding partners - directing cullin-RING E3-E2 enzyme active sites to modify their specific targets.