Summary of the Project
Polyubiquitin chains have important roles in targeting proteins for degradation and also have important signalling roles in processes such as mitophagy. Different types of polyubiquitin signals are assembled in different settings and produce distinct outcomes. Recent research has revealed that the ubiquitin signal is more complicated than previously anticipated with polyubiquitin chains of complex architectures being used. It is therefore an immense task for the cellular machinery to tell the difference between all the different types of polyubiquitin modifications, and the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. The goal of this project is to address how ubiquitin signals of complex topologies are assembled and decoded to produce distinct outcomes. A second aim is to define the topology of ubiquitin signals of complex architectures using recently developed tools and methods to study polyubiquitin. By employing a combination of biochemical, proteomic and genetic approaches, this research will reveal fundamental insights not only into ubiquitin signalling, but also how proteins and defective mitochondria are targeted for degradation.