Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase 5, also known as Deubiquitinating enzyme 5, Isopeptidase T, Ubiquitin thiolesterase 5, Ubiquitin-specific-processing protease 5, ISOT and USP5, is a member of the peptidase C19 family. USP5 contains 2 UBA domains and one UBP-type zinc finger. The UBP-type zinc finger domain interacts selectively with an unmodified C-terminus of the proximal ubiquitin. Both UBA domains are involved in polyubiquitin recognition. The UBP-type zinc finger domain crystallizes as a dimer linked by a disulfide bond between the Cys-195 residues of both molecules, but there is no evidence that the full-length USP5 exists as a dimer. USP5 cleaves linear and branched multiubiquitin polymers with a marked preference for branched polymers. USP5 is involved in unanchored 'Lys-48'-linked polyubiquitin disassembly. It binds linear and 'Lys-63'-linked polyubiquitin with a lower affinity. Knock-down of USP5 causes the accumulation of p53/TP53 and an increase in p53/TP53 transcriptional activity because the unanchored polyubiquitin that accumulates is able to compete with ubiquitinated p53/TP53 but not with MDM2 for proteasomal recognition.