Nuclear receptors (NRs) are cellular proteins, which upon ligand activation, act to exert regulatory control over transcription and subsequent expression. Organized via systemic classification into seven subfamilies, NRs partake in modulating a vast expanse of physiological functions essential for maintenance of life. NRs display particular characteristics towards ubiquitination, the process of addition of specific ubiquitin tags at appropriate locations. Orchestrated through groups of enzymes harboring a diverse array of specialized structural components, the ubiquitination process emphatically alters the fate or downstream effects of NRs. Such influence is especially prominent in transcriptional processes such as promoter clearing for optimization and degradation pathways eliminating or recycling targeted proteins. Ultimately, the ubiquitination of NRs carries significant implications in terms of generating pathological clinical manifestations. Increasing evidence from studies involving patients and disease models suggests a role for ubiquitinated NRs in virtually every organ system. This supports the broad repertoire of roles that NRs play in the body, including modulatory conductors, facilitators, responders to external agents, and critical constituents for pharmacological or biological interventions. This review aims to cover relevant background and mechanisms of NRs and ubiquitination, with a focus towards elucidating subsequent pathophysiology and therapeutics in clinical disorders encompassing such ubiquitinated NRs.
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