Activates ubiquitin by first adenylating its C-terminal glycine residue with ATP, and thereafter linking this residue to the side chain of a cysteine residue in E1, yielding an ubiquitin-E1 thioester and free AMP. Specific for ubiquitin, does not activate ubiquitin-like peptides. Differs from UBE1 in its specificity for substrate E2 charging. Does not charge cell cycle E2s, such as CDC34. Essential for embryonic development. Required for UBD/FAT10 conjugation. Isoform 2 may play a key role in ubiquitin system and may influence spermatogenesis and male fertility.
Widely expressed. Isoform 2 is predominantly expressed in testis with higher expression in adult testis than in fetal testis.