The suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) box consists of the BC box and the cullin 5 (Cul5) box, which interact with Elongin BC and Cul5, respectively. SOCS box-containing proteins have ubiquitin ligase activity mediated by the formation of a complex with the scaffold protein Cul5 and the RING domain protein Rbx2, and are thereby members of the cullin RING ligase superfamily. Cul5-type ubiquitin ligases have a variety of substrates that are targeted for polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Here, we review the current knowledge on the identification of Cul5 and the regulation of its expression, as well as the signaling pathways regulated by Cul5 and how viruses highjack the Cul5 system to overcome antiviral responses.
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