Protein quality control (PQC) machineries play a critical role in selective identification and removal of mistargeted, misfolded, and aberrant proteins. This task is extremely complicated due to the enormous diversity of the proteome. It also requires nuanced and careful differentiation between ‘normal’ and ‘folding intermediates’ from ‘abnormal’ and ‘misfolded’ protein states. Multiple genetic and proteomic approaches have started to delineate the molecular underpinnings of how these machineries recognize their target and how their activity is regulated. In this review, we summarize our understanding of the various E3 ubiquitin ligases and associated machinery that mediate PQC in the endo-lysosome system in yeast and humans, how they are regulated, and mechanisms of target selection, with the intent of guiding future research in this area.