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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008;40(11):2544-52. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.04.013. Epub 2008 May 15.

Coordinate expression of the 19S regulatory complex and evidence for ubiquitin-dependent telethonin degradation in the unloaded soleus muscle.

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  • 1INRA and Human Nutrition Research Center of Clermont-Ferrand, UMR 1019, 63122 Ceyrat, France.


Catabolic stimuli induce a coordinate expression of the 20S proteasome subunits in skeletal muscles. However, contradictory data have been obtained for the 19S regulatory complex (RC) subunits, which could reflect differential regulation at the transcriptional and/or translational level. To address this point we used a well-established model of muscle atrophy (hindlimb suspension) and determined the mRNA levels for 19S subunits belonging to both the base (non-ATPase S1, ATPases S7 and S8) and the lid (S14) of the 19S RC. Concomitant increased mRNA levels were observed for all studied subunits in rat soleus muscles after 9 days of unloading. In addition, analysis of polysome profiles showed a similar proportion of actively translated mRNA (50%) in unloaded and control soleus muscle. Furthermore, the repressed pool of messenger ribonucleoparticles (mRNPs) was low in both control (14%) and unloaded (15%) animals. Our data show that representative 19S subunits (S7 and S8) were efficiently translated, suggesting a coordinate production of 19S RC subunits. The 19S RC is responsible for the binding of polyubiquitin conjugates that are subsequently degraded inside the 20S proteasome core particle. We observed that soleus muscle atrophy was accompanied by an accumulation of ubiquitin conjugates. Purification of ubiquitin conjugates using the S5a 19S subunit followed by deubiquitination identified telethonin as a 26S proteasome substrate. In conclusion, muscle atrophy induces a concomitant expression of 26S proteasome subunits. Substrates to be degraded include a protein required for maintaining the structural integrity of sarcomeres.

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