Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls) are signalling messengers that control many cellular functions, such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, and DNA repair. It is suggested that Ub-protein modification evolved from prokaryotic sulfurtransfer systems. Molybdenum cofactor (Moco) and thiamin are sulfur-containing cofactors whose biosynthesis includes a key sulfur transfer step that uses unique sulfur carrier proteins, MoaD and ThiS. Ubiquitin, MoaD, and ThiS are all structurally related proteins whose C-termini are activated through adenylation by homologous E1-like enzymes. s2T biosynthesis may share similar chemistry with Moco and thiamin synthesis. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Urm1 and Uba4 function as part of a ubl protein conjugation system, though they have sequence homology to bacterial sulfur-transfer enzymes and the ability to function in sulfur transfer.
Genetic Information Processing; Folding, sorting and degradation