Ubiquitin Protein Modification and Signal Transduction: Implications for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


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Abstract

A dysregulated immune response to luminal antigen(s) is associated with the development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). A complex network of inflammatory and immune mediators released by immune and nonimmune cells participate in the physiopathology of IBD. At the molecular level, events leading to the improper use of the signaling grid are likely responsible for the dysregulated activation of various transcription factors and subsequent induction of inflammatory genes. The posttranslational modification of signaling proteins by the ubiquitin system is a critical event in activation or repression of transcription factors. Two important transcriptional pathways in which ubiquitin is central are the nuclear factor-κB and hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) pathways, both of which are important components of intestinal homeostasis. In this review, we discuss the role of ubiquitin modification in relation to nuclear factor-κB and HIF-1 signaling and consider its impact on intestinal inflammation. A greater understanding of posttranslational ubiquitin modification may lead to the identification of new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of IBD.

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