Protein modification by ubiquitin (Ub) or Ub-like proteins such as NEDD8 (neddylation) constitutes a fundamental regulatory mechanism of protein function. In contrast to well-recognized role of Ub in protein degradation, little is known about the role of NEDD8 in protein quality control. We have previously revealed that CM-restricted inactivation of deneddylation, a process that removes NEDD8 from modified proteins, accumulates neddylated proteins and impairs proteasomal and autophagic proteolysis. Here we report that proteasome inhibitors, simulated ischemia/reperfusion and H2O2 significantly increase NEDD8 conjugates in cardiomyocytes (CMs). Immunoprecipitation analysis reveals mixed modification of these proteins by Ub and NEDD8. Expression of NEDD8 but not the conjugation-deficient mutant increases neddylated proteins and accumulates a proteasome surrogate substrate GFPu in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that excessive neddylation disrupts proteasomal proteolysis. We further targets to NUB1L, a UBL (Ub-like domain)-UBA (Ub associating domain) family protein that was shown to negatively regulate neddylation. NUB1L expression markedly reduces free NEDD8 by promoting its degradation, and abrogates proteasome inhibition-induced neddylation in CMs. Suppression of neddylation by NUB1L expression enhances GFPu degradation at baseline, and attenuates GFPu accumulation upon sI/R and H2O2 treatment. Furthermore, NUB1L expression promotes, while down-regulation of NUB1L impairs, the clearance of a bona fide misfolded protein in CMs. NUB1L expression also ameliorates proteotoxic stress- and sI/R-induced CM injury. Finally, increased NEDD8 conjugates are evident in the mouse hearts of a number of cardiac disease models as well as in human failing hearts. Together, our findings suggest that excessive neddylation disrupts protein quality control and that antagonizing neddylation by NUB1L promotes misfolded protein degradation. Targeting neddylation/NUB1L could be a novel therapeutic strategy for prevention and treatment of insufficient protein quality control-associated cardiac disease.