The labeling of proteins with small ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like (Ubl) modifiers regulates a plethora of activities within the cell, such as protein recycling, cell cycle modifications, and protein translocation. These processes are often overactive in diseased cells, leading to unregulated cell growth and disease progression. Therefore, in systems where Ub/Ubl protein labeling is dysregulated, the development of drugs to selectively and potently disrupt Ub/Ubl protein labeling offers a targeted molecular approach for sensitizing these diseased cells. This Perspective outlines the progress that has been made in the context of inhibitor development for targeting Ub/Ubl pathways.
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