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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. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology Volume 38 is October 2022. Please see for revised estimates.


Erik McShane, Matthias Selbach. Physiological Functions of Intracellular Protein Degradation. Annual review of cell and developmental biology. 2022 May 19

PMID: 35587265

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