Ankyrin repeat and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) box (Asb) proteins are ubiquitin E3 ligases. The subfamily of six-ankyrin repeat domain-containing Asb proteins (Asb5, Asb9, Asb11, and Asb13) is of specific interest because they display unusual strong evolutionary conservation (e.g., urochordate and human ASB11 are >49% similar at the amino acid level) and mediate compartment size expansion, regulating, for instance, the size of the brain and muscle compartment. Thus, they may be involved in the explanation of the differences in brain size between humans and apes. Mechanistically, many questions remain, but it has become clear that regulation of canonical Notch signaling and also mitochondrial function are important effectors. Here, we review the action and function of six ankyrin repeat domain-containing Asb proteins in physiology and pathophysiology.

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Keywords Asb subgroup, compartment size, muscle, Notch signaling, ubiquitination
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Journal Trends in Biochemical Sciences
Liu, P, Verhaar, A.P, & Peppelenbosch, M.P. (2018). Signaling Size: Ankyrin and SOCS Box-Containing ASB E3 Ligases in Action. Trends in Biochemical Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.tibs.2018.10.003