Studies of metazoan proteasome function and regulation
Sammanfattning: Biological processes depend upon the structural and functional quality of the molecules that comprise living organisms. The integrity of molecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids is crucial and the precise three-dimensional shape and the detailed chemistry of these molecules orchestrate the biochemical processes vital for life. Within a cell, each protein must be present at a specific concentration during certain specific conditions. To maintain cellular homeostasis and the ability to respond to the environment the proteome is in a dynamic state of synthesis and degradation. In eukaryotic cells the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is the principal mechanism for regulated protein turnover in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus. The 20S proteasome is a cylindrical multi-subunit protease. Proteasomes play an essential role in the targeted and timely ordered degradation of key regulatory proteins and their inhibitors. The 26S proteasome is a 2.500 kDa complex composed of the 20S proteasome sandwiched between two 19S regulators. This is the enzymatic complex responsible for ATP-dependent ubiquitin mediated protein degradation. A polyubiquitin chain attached to a protein serves as a general recognition signal for destruction via the 26S proteasome. It is known that the 19S regulator confers ubiquitin recognition and substrate unfolding to the 20S proteasome, however, the specific functions for many of the different subunits within the 19S complex are not known. We have used RNA interference to study the S13/Rpn11 and S5a/Rpn10 subunits of Drosophila melanogatser proteasomes. We have produced stable cell lines with the human S13 gene under inducible promoters that was used to rescue the knockdown phenotype after RNA interference. The rescue was successful in demonstrating that the human protein is a functional homologue to the Drosophila protein. We call the technique RNAi+c (RNA interference + complementation). This procedure enabled us to also test different mutants of the human S13 protein for their ability to function in the proteasome. Using RNA interference to a Drosophila proteasome subunit in combination with complementation with a corresponding human protein we have been able to study residues important for the deubiquitinating activity of this subunit (Paper I). Interestingly, upon a decrease of either S13 or S5a we see an induction in the levels of active 20S proteasomes. Increase in the levels of the non-targeted 19S subunit can be detected when RNAi treatment is carried out on either S13 or S5a. We have used RNA interference and proteasomal inhibition together with whole genome microarray analysis to reveal a co-regulated network of proteasome genes. This network likely contributes to an overall regulatory system that maintains proper proteasome levels in the cell. Initial studies of the mechanism of transcriptional co-regulation of proteins involved in the 26S proteasome pathway were also performed (Paper II). Finally, the biological function of the proteasome regulator PA28g/REGg is not known. We have studied this regulator in Drosophila using RNA interference and promoter mapping (Paper III).
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