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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991 Mar 4;1073(2):299-308.

ATP-stimulated degradation of endogenous proteins in cell-free extracts of BHK 21/C13 fibroblasts. A key role for the proteinase, macropain, in the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of short-lived proteins.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.


Baby hamster kidney (BHK) 21/C13 cell proteins, labeled with [35S]methionine, [14C]leucine or [3H]leucine in intact cells, were degraded in soluble, cell-free extracts by an ATP-stimulated process. The stimulatory effect of ATP appeared to require ATP hydrolysis and was mediated to a large extent by ubiquitin. Although the cell extracts contained endogenous ubiquitin, supplementation with exogenous ubiquitin increased ATP-dependent proteolysis by up to 2-fold. Furthermore, antibodies against the E1 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme specifically inhibited both conjugation of [125I]ubiquitin to endogenous proteins and ATP/ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Addition of purified E1 to antibody-treated extracts restored conjugation and proteolysis. Proteins containing the amino acid analogues canavanine and azatryptophan were also degraded in vitro by an ATP/ubiquitin-dependent process but at a rate up to 2-fold faster than normal proteins. These results indicate that soluble, cell-free extracts of BHK cells can selectively degrade proteins whose rates of degradation are increased in intact cells. Treatment of cell-free extracts with antibodies against the high molecular weight proteinase, macropain, also greatly inhibited the ATP/ubiquitin-dependent degradation of endogenous proteins. Proteolysis was specifically restored when purified macropain L was added to the antibody-treated extracts. Treatment of cell extracts with both anti-macropain and anti-E1 antibodies reduced ATP/ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis to the same extent as treatment with either antibody alone. Furthermore, proteolysis could be restored to the double antibody treated extracts only after addition of both purified E1 and macropain. These results provide strong evidence for an important role for macropain in the ATP/ubiquitin-dependent degradation of endogenous proteins in BHK cell extracts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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