The UHRF protein family in epigenetics, development, and carcinogenesis

Motoko Unoki, Hiroyuki Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The UHRF protein family consists of multidomain regulatory proteins that sense modification status of DNA and/or proteins and catalyze the ubiquitylation of target proteins. Through their functional domains, they interact with other molecules and serve as a hub for regulatory networks of several important biological processes, including maintenance of DNA methylation and DNA damage repair. The UHRF family is conserved in vertebrates and plants but is missing from fungi and many nonvertebrate animals. Mammals commonly have UHRF1 and UHRF2, but, despite their high structural similarity, the two paralogues appear to have distinct functions. Furthermore, UHRF1 and UHRF2 show different expression patterns and different outcomes in gene knockout experiments. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular function of the UHRF family in various biological pathways and discuss their roles in epigenetics, development, gametogenesis, and carcinogenesis, with a focus on the mammalian UHRF proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and biological sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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