A groundbreaking new study from the labs of MCB Professors Michael Rape and Richard Harland describes a quality control pathway, called DQC (dimerization quality control), for regulators of the BTB family. DQC removes BTB dimers of abberant composition from interrupting signal transduction in a cell.

The researchers report that the E3 ligase SCFFBXL17, the key to this DQC pathway, "is required for the differentiation, function, and survival of neural crest and neuronal cells," and predict that other distinct E3 ligases have similar quality control functions in other recurrent domains.

MCB Graduate Student Elijah Mena is first author of the research, which is currently available as a First Release paper from Science.

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Fig. 5. Model of dimerization quality control, DQC. BTB-domain-containing proteins rapidly dimerize upon synthesis. Credit: Mena et al., Science (2018).