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J Exp Biol. 2013 Feb 15;216(Pt 4):543-53. doi: 10.1242/jeb.074757. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

A conserved role for the 20S proteasome and Nrf2 transcription factor in oxidative stress adaptation in mammals, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster.

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Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center of Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, USA.


In mammalian cells, hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced adaptation to oxidative stress is strongly dependent on an Nrf2 transcription factor-mediated increase in the 20S proteasome. Here, we report that both Caenorhabditis elegans nematode worms and Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies are also capable of adapting to oxidative stress with H(2)O(2) pre-treatment. As in mammalian cells, this adaptive response in worms and flies involves an increase in proteolytic activity and increased expression of the 20S proteasome, but not of the 26S proteasome. We also found that the increase in 20S proteasome expression in both worms and flies, as in mammalian cells, is important for the adaptive response, and that it is mediated by the SKN-1 and CNC-C orthologs of the mammalian Nrf2 transcription factor, respectively. These studies demonstrate that stress mechanisms operative in cell culture also apply in disparate intact organisms across a wide biological diversity.

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