Ubiquitin-mediated destruction of regulatory proteins is a frequent means of controlling progression through signaling pathways . F-box proteins  are components of modular E3 ubiquitin protein ligases called SCFs, which function in phosphorylation-dependent ubiquitination ([3-5], reviewed in [6,7]). F-box proteins contain a carboxy-terminal domain that interacts with substrates and a 42-48 amino-acid F-box motif which binds to the protein Skp1 [2-4]. Skp1 binding links the F-box protein with a core ubiquitin ligase composed of the proteins Cdc53/Cul1, Rbx1 (also called Hrt1 and Roc1) and the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Cdc34 [8-11]. The genomes of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans contain, respectively, 16 and more than 60 F-box proteins [2,7]; in S. cerevisiae, the F-box proteins Cdc4, Grr1 and Met30 target cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, G1 cyclins and transcriptional regulators for ubiquitination ([3-5,8,10], reviewed in [6,7]). Only four mammalian F-box proteins (Cyclin F, Skp1, β-TRCP and NFB42) have been identified so far [2,12]. Here, we report the identification of a family of 33 novel mammalian F-box proteins. The large number of these proteins in mammals suggests that the SCF system controls a correspondingly large number of regulatory pathways in vertebrates. Four of these proteins contain a novel conserved motif, the F-box-associated (FBA) domain, which may represent a new protein-protein interaction motif. The identification of these genes will help uncover pathways controlled by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in mammals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank M. Pagano and P. Jackson for communicating results before publication. This work was supported by grants from the NIH (AG-11085) to J.W.H. and S.J.E., the Welch Foundation (Q-1249) to J.W.H., the Department of Defense to J.W.H, and the Baylor SPORE in Prostate Cancer. J.T.W. was supported by a postdoctoral training grant from NIA, and D.M.K. was supported by the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation. S.J.E. is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.