• Kouranti I, McLean JR, Feoktistova A, Liang P, Johnson AE, Roberts-Galbraith RH, Gould KL. A global census of fission yeast deubiquitinating enzyme localization and interaction networks reveals distinct compartmentalization profiles and overlapping functions in endocytosis and polarity. PLoS biology. 8(9). PMID: 20838651 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC2935449.


Ubiquitination and deubiquitination are reciprocal processes that tune protein stability, function, and/or localization. The removal of ubiquitin and remodeling of ubiquitin chains is catalyzed by deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), which are cysteine proteases or metalloproteases. Although ubiquitination has been extensively studied for decades, the complexity of cellular roles for deubiquitinating enzymes has only recently been explored, and there are still several gaps in our understanding of when, where, and how these enzymes function to modulate the fate of polypeptides. To address these questions we performed a systematic analysis of the 20 Schizosaccharomyces pombe DUBs using confocal microscopy, proteomics, and enzymatic activity assays. Our results reveal that S. pombe DUBs are present in almost all cell compartments, and the majority are part of stable protein complexes essential for their function. Interestingly, DUB partners identified by our study include the homolog of a putative tumor suppressor gene not previously linked to the ubiquitin pathway, and two conserved tryptophan-aspartate (WD) repeat proteins that regulate Ubp9, a DUB that we show participates in endocytosis, actin dynamics, and cell polarity. In order to understand how DUB activity affects these processes we constructed multiple DUB mutants and find that a quintuple deletion of ubp4 ubp5 ubp9 ubp15 sst2/amsh displays severe growth, polarity, and endocytosis defects. This mutant allowed the identification of two common substrates for five cytoplasmic DUBs. Through these studies, a common regulatory theme emerged in which DUB localization and/or activity is modulated by interacting partners. Despite apparently distinct cytoplasmic localization patterns, several DUBs cooperate in regulating endocytosis and cell polarity. These studies provide a framework for dissecting DUB signaling pathways in S. pombe and may shed light on DUB functions in metazoans.