Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 2019–2034 | Cite as

Ubiquitin- and ubiquitin-like proteins-conjugating enzymes (E2s) in breast cancer



Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Sub-types of breast cancer defined by the expression of steroid hormones and Her2/Neu oncogene have distinct prognosis and undergo different therapies. Besides differing in their phenotype, sub-types of breast cancer display various molecular lesions that participate in their pathogenesis. BRCA1 is one of the common hereditary cancer predisposition genes and encodes for an ubiquitin ligase. Ubiquitin ligases or E3 enzymes participate together with ubiquitin activating enzyme and ubiquitin conjugating enzymes in the attachment of ubiquitin (ubiquitination) in target proteins. Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification regulating multiple cell functions. It also plays important roles in carcinogenesis in general and in breast carcinogenesis in particular. Ubiquitin conjugating enzymes are a central component of the ubiquitination machinery and are often perturbed in breast cancer. This paper will discuss ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins conjugating enzymes participating in breast cancer pathogenesis, their relationships with other proteins of the ubiquitination machinery and their role in phenotype of breast cancer sub-types.


Breast cancer Ubiquitin Ubiquitination Ubiquitin conjugating enzymes Ubiquitin-like proteins SUMO BRCA1 NF-κB 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Pluridisciplinaire d’Oncologie, BH06University Hospital of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Centre Pluridisciplinaire d’OncologieCentre Hospitalier Universitaire VaudoisLausanneSwitzerland

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