Proteolysis, free radicals, and aging

Pamela A. Szweda, Bertrand Friguet, Luke I. Szweda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Aging is accompanied by declines in cellular proteolytic capacity. Proteolytic processing is an important step in numerous cellular processes required for normal metabolic function. These include regulation of protein turnover, degradation of altered forms of protein, signal transduction, protein sorting/trafficking, receptor-mediated endo- and exocytosis, stress/immune responses, and activation of gene transcription. Thus, loss of cellular proteolytic function is likely to contribute to the enhanced fragility of cells from senescent relative to young and adult organisms. Free radicals have been implicated as contributing factors to observed age-dependent declines in proteolytic capacity. The current review offers an overview of the evidence linking free radical events to functional alterations in the lysosomal system and the proteasome, two major pathways by which proteins are degraded within cells. Implications for future investigations in the field are discussed in light of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002


  • Aging
  • Free radical
  • Lysosome
  • Proteasome
  • Proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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