Role of the ubiquitin system in regulating ion transport

  • Daniela RotinEmail author
  • Olivier StaubEmail author
Invited Review


Ion channels and transporters play a critical role in ion and fluid homeostasis and thus in normal animal physiology and pathology. Tight regulation of these transmembrane proteins is therefore essential. In recent years, many studies have focused their attention on the role of the ubiquitin system in regulating ion channels and transporters, initialed by the discoveries of the role of this system in processing of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR), and in regulating endocytosis of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) by the Nedd4 family of ubiquitin ligases (mainly Nedd4-2). In this review, we discuss the role of the ubiquitin system in ER Associated Degradation (ERAD) of ion channels, and in the regulation of endocytosis and lysosomal sorting of ion channels and transporters, focusing primarily in mammalian cells. We also briefly discuss the role of ubiquitin like molecules (such as SUMO) in such regulation, for which much less is known so far.


Aldosterone Anion channel Cation channel Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator Electrophysiology Epithelial Na channels Ion channel Potassium channel Signal transduction Sodium channel 



Work from the authors’ laboratories described in this review was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian CF Foundation (to DR), and the Swiss National Science Foundation (to OS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children and Biochemistry DepartmentUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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