Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 1988 May 3;27(9):3290-5.

Hemin inhibits ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis in both a higher plant and yeast.

Author information

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin--Madison 53706.


In eukaryotes, a major route for ATP-dependent protein breakdown proceeds through covalent intermediates of target proteins destined for degradation and the highly conserved, 76 amino acid protein ubiquitin. In rabbit reticulocytes, it has been shown that hemin effectively inhibits this pathway by blocking the catabolism of ubiquitin-protein conjugates [KI = 25 microM (Haas, A. L., & Rose, I. A. (1981) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78, 6845-6848)]. Here, we demonstrate that hemin is also an effective inhibitor of the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic pathway in both a higher plant, oats (Avena sativa), and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Hemin inhibits all stages of the pathway in vitro, including ATP-dependent formation of ubiquitin-protein conjugates, disassembly of conjugates by ubiquitin-protein lyase(s) (or isopeptidases), and degradation of ubiquitin-protein conjugates by ATP-dependent protease(s). Using ubiquitin-125I-lysozyme conjugates synthesized in vitro as substrates, we determined the specific effects of hemin on the rates of disassembly and degradation separately. The concentration of hemin required for half-maximal inhibition of both processes was identical in each species, approximately 60 microM in oats and approximately 50 microM in yeast. Similar inhibitory effects were observed when two hemin analogues, mesoheme or protoporphyrin IX, were employed. These results demonstrate that the effect of hemin on ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis is not restricted to erythroid cells and as a result hemin may be a useful tool in studies of this pathway in all eukaryotic cells. These results also question models where hemin serves as a specific negative modulator of proteolysis in erythroid cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center