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Apoptosis. 2006 Jun;11(6):1049-59.

Oxidative stress regulated expression of ubiquitin Carboxyl-terminal Hydrolase-L1: role in cell survival.

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Neurobiology Program, Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0R6.


The ubiquitin Carboxyl-terminal Hydrolase-L1 gene (UCHL1) is a key enzyme in the protein degradation pathway; however, its precise role in protecting cells under stress conditions is unclear. In the present study we investigated the activity of this gene in human NT2/D1 embryonal carcinoma cells subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and reoxygenation. OGD/reoxygenation cause global metabolic changes due to energy withdrawal and the subsequent generation of reactive oxygen species which initiates either a stress-adaptation-survival response or cell death, depending on the severity of the insult. A bi-phasic change in UCHL1 expression was observed by Q-PCR, Western blotting and flow cytometry. Down regulation of UCHL1 was detected immediately after OGD treatment and its expression was subsequently restored and increased 6 h after OGD treatment as well as during reoxygenation. Furthermore, flow cytometry analysis detected a lower level of UCHL1 only in apoptotic cells that had severe loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Accordingly, down-regulation of endogenous UCHL1 by antisense cDNA in mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells increased the cell's sensitivity to OGD treatment. This down-regulation of endogenous UCHL1 led to the accumulation of p27, suggesting that UCHL1 is an essential gene to maintain cell homeostasis under normal growth and oxidative stress conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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