Ubiquitin Signalling

Ubiquitin Signalling

Animation still of proteins
Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of cells. They are continuously modified, which alters their function and potential for causing disease.

Ubiquitin is a small protein found in all human tissues. Ubiquitin can bind to and modify other proteins in a variety of ways, generating a multitude of distinct signals that have important consequences for the protein being modified, such as:

  • Destruction of the protein
  • Transporting the protein to a different place in the cell
  • Generating new interactions with proteins

Ubiquitin signals play a significant role in many biological processes. Deregulated or dysfunctional ubiquitin signalling can lead to diseases such as cancer, inflammatory conditions and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Because of its strong disease associations, ubiquitin signalling presents a large, untapped opportunity for generating new medicines for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Our division is working to understand the underlying biology of ubiquitin-mediated processes in cells, with a particular focus on those associated with human diseases.

A major aim is to enable translation of our ubiquitin research into the clinic, by identifying and validating new targets, and associated small molecule probes to generate new drugs.

Health impact 


Immune health and infection: autoinflammatory diseases, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sepsis

Healthy development and ageing: Alzheimer’s disease, epigenetics, neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease, dementia

Division news

Division head

Professor David Komander

Lab heads

Associate Professor Grant Dewson

Dr Rebecca Feltham

Associate Professor Michael Lazarou

Dr Bernhard Lechtenberg

Division coordinator

Dr Isobel Lawrenson




Two male researchers standing in a laboratory

Our researchers have revealed how a key protein protects against the death of neurons that occurs in Parkinson's disease.