The 76 amino acid protein ubiquitin (Ub) is highly conserved in all eukaryotic species. It plays important roles in many cellular processes by covalently attaching to the target proteins. The best known function of Ub is marking substrate proteins for degradation by the 26S proteasome. In fact, other consequences of ubiquitination have been discovered in yeast and mammals, such as membrane trafficking, DNA repair, chromatin modification, and protein kinase activation. The common mechanism underlying these processes is that Ub serves as a signal to sort proteins to the vacuoles or lysosomes for degradation as opposed to 26S proteasome-dependent degradation. To date, several reports have indicated that a similar function of Ub also exists in plants. This review focuses on a summary and analysis of the recent research progress on Ub acting as a signal to mediate endocytosis and endosomal trafficking in plants.
[ Qi Xie (Corresponding author)]