Cullin proteins assemble a large number of RING E3 ubiquitin ligases and regulate various physiological processes, including regulating replication and transcription (1-2). Two cullin 4 (CUL4) proteins, CUL4A and CUL4B, have been identified. CUL4A and CUL4B are two closely related proteins, coded by two different genes. The amino acid sequences of CUL4A and CUL4B show 80% similarity, differing by the unique and extended N-terminus of CUL4B. CUL4B is reported to be found in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm during differentiation, while CUL4A has been reported to be present predominantly in the cytoplasm. CUL4B is suggested to have a more specific role than CUL4A due to the presence of functional nuclear localization signal sequence in the N-terminus. CUL4A is noted as essential for embryonic development (3).
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