Abstract

 

The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy are two major degradative pathways of proteins in eukaryotic cells. As about 30% of newly synthesized proteins are known to be misfolded under normal cell conditions, the precise and timely operation of the UPS and autophagy to remove them as well as their tightly controlled regulation, is so important for proper cell function and survival. In the UPS, target proteins are labeled by small proteins called ubiquitin, which are then transported to the proteasome complex for degradation. Alternatively, many greatly damaged proteins are believed to be delivered to the lysosome for autophagic degradation. Although these autophagy and UPS pathways have not been considered to be directly related, many recent studies proposed their close link and dynamic interconversion. In this review, well focus on the several regulatory molecules that function in both UPS and autophagy and their crosstalk. Among the proposed multiple modulators, we will take a closer look at the so-called main connector of UPS-autophagy regulation, p62. Last, the functional role of p62 in the mitophagy and its implication for the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, one of the major neurodegenerative diseases, will be briefly reviewed.