Post-translational modification by ubiquitin (Ub) and Ub-like modifiers is one of the most important mechanisms regulating a wide range of cellular processes in eukaryotes. Through mediating 26S proteasome-dependent degradation of substrates, the covalent modification of proteins by multiple Ub (ubiquitination) can regulate many different cellular functions such as transcription, antigen processing, signal transduction and cell cycle. To better understand ubiquitination and its functions, proteomic approaches have been developed to purify and identify more protein substrates. The S5a subunit of the 26S proteasome binds to poly-Ub chains containing four or more Ub. In this study, immobilized GST-S5a fusion protein was used to affinity-purify ubiquitinated proteins from Chang liver cells. The purified proteins were then identified with multi-dimensional LC combined with MS/MS. Eighty-three potential ubiquitination substrates were identified. From these proteins, 19 potential ubiquitination sites on 17 potential substrates were determined. These potential ubiquitination substrates are mainly related to important cellular functions including metabolism, translation and transcription. Our results provide helpful information for further understanding of the relationship between ubiquitination machinery and different cell functions.
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