Physiological functions of intracellular protein degradation


  • E. McShane
  • M. Selbach


  • Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology


  • Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 38: 241-262


  • While cellular proteins were initially thought to be stable, research over the last decades has firmly established that intracellular protein degradation is an active and highly regulated process: Lysosomal, proteasomal, and mitochondrial degradation systems were identified and found to be involved in a staggering number of biological functions. Here, we provide a global overview of the diverse roles of cellular protein degradation using seven categories: homeostasis, regulation, quality control, stoichiometry control, proteome remodeling, immune surveillance, and baseline turnover. Using selected examples, we outline how proteins are degraded and why this is functionally relevant.