The role of ubiquitin ligases in cardiac disease

Monte S. Willis, Ariana Bevilacqua, Thomas Pulinilkunnil, Petra Kienesberger, Manasi Tannu, Cam Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Scopus citations


Rigorous surveillance of protein quality control is essential for the maintenance of normal cardiac function, while the dysregulation of protein turnover is present in a diverse array of common cardiac diseases. Central to the protein quality control found in all cells is the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). The UPS plays a critical role in protein trafficking, cellular signaling, and most prominently, protein degradation. As ubiquitin ligases (E3s) control the specificity of the UPS, their description in the cardiomyocyte has highlighted how ubiquitin ligases are critical to the turnover and function of the sarcomere complex, responsible for the heart's required continuous contraction. In this review, we provide an overview of the UPS, highlighting a comprehensive overview of the cardiac ubiquitin ligases identified to date. We then focus on recent studies of new cardiac ubiquitin ligases outlining their novel roles in protein turnover, cellular signaling, and the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and receptor turnover in the pathophysiology of cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac atrophy, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Protein Quality Control, the Ubiquitin Proteasome System, and Autophagy".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Cardiac
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart failure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Proteasome
  • Ubiquitin ligase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Willis, M. S., Bevilacqua, A., Pulinilkunnil, T., Kienesberger, P., Tannu, M., & Patterson, C. (2014). The role of ubiquitin ligases in cardiac disease. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 71, 43-53.