Analysis of Drosophila 26 S proteasome using RNA interference

Cezary Wójcikb, George N. Demartino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


We have utilized double-stranded RNA interference (RNAi) to examine the effects of reduced expression of individual subunits of the 26 S proteasome in Drosophila S2 cells. RNAi significantly decreased mRNA and protein levels of targeted subunits of both the core 20 S proteasome and the PA700 regulatory complex. Cells deficient in any of several 26 S proteasome subunits (e.g. dβ5, dRpt1, dRpt2, dRpt5, dRpn2, and dRpn12) displayed decreased proteasome activity (as judged by hydrolysis of succinyl-Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr-aminomethylcoumarin), increased apoptosis, decreased cell proliferation without a specific block of the cell cycle, and accumulation of ubiquitinated cellular proteins. RNAi of many individual 26 S proteasome subunits promoted increased expression of many non-targeted subunits. This effect was not mimicked by chemical proteasome inhibitors such as lactacystin. Reduced expression of most targeted subunits disrupted the assembly of the 26 S proteasome. RNAi of six of eight targeted PA700 subunits disrupted that structure and caused accumulation of increased levels of uncapped 20 S proteasome. Notable exceptions included RNAi of dRpn10, a polyubiquitin binding subunit, and dUCH37, a ubiquitin isopeptidase. dRpn10-deficient cells showed a significant increase in succinyl-Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr-aminomethylcoumarin hydrolyzing activity of the 26 S proteasomes but accumulated polyubiquitinated proteins. dβ5-Deficient cells had a phenotype similar to that of most PA700-deficient cells but also accumulated low molecular mass complexes containing subunits of the 20 S proteasome, probably representing unassembled precursors of the 20 S proteasomes. Cells deficient in several of the 26 S proteasome subunits were more resistant to otherwise toxic concentrations of various proteasome inhibitors. Our data suggest that those cells adapted to grow in conditions of impaired ubiquitin and proteasome-dependent protein degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6188-6197
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 22 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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