2017 Volume 34 Issue 2 Pages 71-78
Ubiquitination is one of the fundamental post-translational modifications of proteins with ubiquitin, a conserved 76-amino acid protein present in eukaryotes, which is catalyzed by ubiquitin ligase. Compared with humans, the number of ubiquitin ligase genes is nearly double in plant species such as Arabidopsis and rice, suggesting that this enzyme plays critical roles in many aspects of plant growth, including development and abiotic and biotic environmental stress responses. In addition to its fundamental activities in eukaryotic cells, ubiquitin signaling mediates plant specific cellular functions, including phytohormone response, seed and fruit development, and biotic and abiotic stress responses. The ATL family is a RING-H2 type ubiquitin ligase widely conserved in plant species. We previously showed that the plant specific ubiquitin ligase ATL31 regulates the carbon/nitrogen-nutrient response and pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis, and we identified and characterized the basic biochemical function of an ATL31 homologue in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.). This protein, called SlATL31, may act as a ubiquitin ligase in tomato fruit. The tomato is a major crop plant and a model system for fleshy fruit development. This review provides an overview of the ubiquitin ligases and related enzymes, and highlights the ubiquitin ligase ATL family in tomato plants.