2022 Volume 47 Issue 1 Pages 1-18
Ubiquitin-like 3 (UBL3) is a well-conserved ubiquitin-like protein (UBL) in eukaryotes and regulates the ubiquitin cascade, but the significant roles of UBL3 in cellular processes remained unknown. Recently, UBL3 was elucidated to be a post-translational modification factor that promotes protein sorting to small extracellular vesicles (sEVs). Proteins sorted into sEVs have been studied as etiologies of sEV-related diseases. Also, there have been attempts to construct drug delivery systems (DDSs) by loading proteins into sEVs. In this review, we introduce the new concept that UBL3 has a critical role in the protein-sorting system and compare structure conservation between UBL3 and other UBLs from an evolutionary perspective. We conclude with future perspectives for the utility of UBL3 in sEV-related diseases and DDS.
Key words: UBL3, small extracellular vesicles, protein sorting, ubiquitin-like protein, post-translational modification