Neurons have highly specialized intracellular compartments that facilitate the development and activity of the nervous system. Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that controls many aspects of neuronal function by regulating protein abundance. Disruption of this signaling pathway has been demonstrated in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Angleman Syndrome. Since many neurological disorders exhibit ubiquitinated protein aggregates, the loss of neuronal ubiquitin homeostasis may be an important contributor of disease. This review discusses the mechanisms utilized by neurons to control the free pool of ubiquitin necessary for normal nervous system development and function as well as new roles of protein ubiquitination in regulating the synaptic activity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.