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J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 7;287(50):41608-18. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.387738. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) competes with 20S proteasome for binding with C/EBPα leading to its stabilization and protection against radiation-induced myeloproliferative disease.

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Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a flavoprotein that protects cells against radiation and chemical-induced oxidative stress. Disruption of NQO1 gene in mice leads to increased susceptibility to myeloproliferative disease. In this report, we demonstrate that NQO1 controls the stability of myeloid differentiation factor C/EBPα against 20S proteasomal degradation during radiation exposure stress. Co-immunoprecipitation studies showed that NQO1, C/EBPα, and 20S all interacted with each other. C/EBPα interaction with 20S led to the degradation of C/EBPα. NQO1 in presence of its cofactor NADH protected C/EBPα against 20S degradation. Deletion and site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that NQO1 and 20S competed for the same binding region (268)SGAGAGKAKKSV(279) in C/EBPα. Mutagenesis studies also revealed that NQO1Y127/Y129 required for NADH binding is essential for NQO1 stabilization of C/EBPα. Exposure of mice and HL-60 cells to 3 Grays of γ-radiation led to increased NQO1 that stabilized C/EBPα against 20S proteasomal degradation. This mechanism of NQO1 regulation of C/EBPα may provide protection to bone marrow against adverse effects of radiation exposure. The studies have significance for human individuals carrying hetero- or homozygous NQO1P187S mutation and are deficient or lack NQO1 protein.

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