Degradation rates of most proteins in eukaryotic cells are determined by their rates of ubiquitination. However, possible regulation of the proteasome's capacity to degrade ubiquitinated proteins has received little attention, although proteasome inhibitors are widely used in research and cancer treatment. We show here that mammalian 26S proteasomes have five associated ubiquitin ligases and that multiple proteasome subunits are ubiquitinated in cells, especially the ubiquitin receptor subunit, Rpn13. When proteolysis is even partially inhibited in cells or purified 26S proteasomes with various inhibitors, Rpn13 becomes extensively and selectively poly-ubiquitinated by the proteasome-associated ubiquitin ligase, Ube3c/Hul5. This modification also occurs in cells during heat-shock or arsenite treatment, when poly-ubiquitinated proteins accumulate. Rpn13 ubiquitination strongly decreases the proteasome's ability to bind and degrade ubiquitin-conjugated proteins, but not its activity against peptide substrates. This autoinhibitory mechanism presumably evolved to prevent binding of ubiquitin conjugates to defective or stalled proteasomes, but this modification may also be useful as a biomarker indicating the presence of proteotoxic stress and reduced proteasomal capacity in cells or patients.
Proteasome inhibitors are widely used in the treatment of multiple myeloma and as research tools. Additionally, diminished proteasome function may contribute to neuronal dysfunction. In response to these inhibitors, cells enhance the expression of proteasome subunits by the transcription factor Nrf1. Here, we investigate the mechanisms by which decreased proteasome function triggers production of new proteasomes via Nrf1.
Activation of the PI3K-Akt-FoxO pathway induces cell growth, whereas its inhibition reduces cell survival and, in muscle, causes atrophy. Here, we report a novel mechanism that suppresses PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling. Although skeletal muscle lacks desmosomes, it contains multiple desmosomal components, including plakoglobin. In normal muscle plakoglobin binds the insulin receptor and PI3K subunit p85 and promotes PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling. During atrophy, however, its interaction with PI3K-p85 is reduced by the ubiquitin ligase Trim32 (tripartite motif containing protein 32). Inhibition of Trim32 enhanced plakoglobin binding to PI3K-p85 and promoted PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling. Surprisingly, plakoglobin overexpression alone enhanced PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling. Furthermore, Trim32 inhibition in normal muscle increased PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling, enhanced glucose uptake, and induced fiber growth, whereas plakoglobin down-regulation reduced PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling, decreased glucose uptake, and caused atrophy. Thus, by promoting plakoglobin-PI3K dissociation, Trim32 reduces PI3K-Akt-FoxO signaling in normal and atrophying muscle. This mechanism probably contributes to insulin resistance during fasting and catabolic diseases and perhaps to the myopathies and cardiomyopathies seen with Trim32 and plakoglobin mutations.
Languishing antibiotic discovery and flourishing antibiotic resistance have prompted the development of alternative untapped sources for antibiotic discovery, including previously uncultured bacteria. Here, we screen extracts from uncultured species against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and identify lassomycin, an antibiotic that exhibits potent bactericidal activity against both growing and dormant mycobacteria, including drug-resistant forms of M. tuberculosis, but little activity against other bacteria or mammalian cells. Lassomycin is a highly basic, ribosomally encoded cyclic peptide with an unusual structural fold that only partially resembles that of other lasso peptides. We show that lassomycin binds to a highly acidic region of the ClpC1 ATPase complex and markedly stimulates its ATPase activity without stimulating ClpP1P2-catalyzed protein breakdown, which is essential for viability of mycobacteria. This mechanism, uncoupling ATPase from proteolytic activity, accounts for the bactericidal activity of lassomycin.
MHC class I molecules present peptides derived from intracellular proteins, enabling immune surveillance by CD8(+) T cells and the elimination of virus-infected and cancerous cells. It has been argued that the dominant source of MHC class I-presented peptides is through proteasomal degradation of newly synthesized defective proteins, termed defective ribosomal products (DRiPs). Here, we critically examine the DRiP hypothesis and discuss recent studies indicating that antigenic peptides are generated from the entire proteome and not just from failures in protein synthesis or folding.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by accumulation and misfolding of ?-synuclein. Although the level of ?-synuclein in neurons is fundamentally linked to the onset of neurodegeneration, multiple pathways have been implicated in its degradation, and it remains unclear which are the critical ubiquitination enzymes that protect against ?-synuclein accumulation in vivo. The ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 targets ?-synuclein to the endosomal-lysosomal pathway in cultured cells. Here we asked whether Nedd4-mediated degradation protects against ?-synuclein-induced toxicity in the Drosophila and rodent models of Parkinson's disease. We show that overexpression of Nedd4 can rescue the degenerative phenotype from ectopic expression of ?-synuclein in the Drosophila eye. Overexpressed Nedd4 in the Drosophila brain prevented the ?-synuclein-induced locomotor defect whereas reduction in endogenous Nedd4 by RNAi led to worsening motor function and increased loss of dopaminergic neurons. Accordingly, AAV-mediated expression of wild-type but not the catalytically inactive Nedd4 decreased the ?-synuclein-induced dopaminergic cell loss in the rat substantia nigra and reduced ?-synuclein accumulation. Collectively, our data in two evolutionarily distant model organisms strongly suggest that Nedd4 is a modifier of ?-synuclein pathobiology and thus a potential target for neuroprotective therapies.
A characteristic feature of aged humans and other mammals is the debilitating, progressive loss of skeletal muscle function and mass that is known as sarcopenia. Age-related muscle dysfunction occurs to an even greater extent during the relatively short lifespan of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Studies in model organisms indicate that sarcopenia is driven by a combination of muscle tissue extrinsic and intrinsic factors, and that it fundamentally differs from the rapid atrophy of muscles observed following disuse and fasting. Extrinsic changes in innervation, stem cell function and endocrine regulation of muscle homeostasis contribute to muscle aging. In addition, organelle dysfunction and compromised protein homeostasis are among the primary intrinsic causes. Some of these age-related changes can in turn contribute to the induction of compensatory stress responses that have a protective role during muscle aging. In this Review, we outline how studies in Drosophila and mammalian model organisms can each provide distinct advantages to facilitate the understanding of this complex multifactorial condition and how they can be used to identify suitable therapies.
In several cell types, the protein deacetylase SIRT1 regulates the activities of FoxO transcription factors whose activation is critical in muscle atrophy. However, the possible effects of SIRT1 on the activity of FoxOs in skeletal muscle and on the regulation of muscle size have not been investigated. Here, we show that after food deprivation, SIRT1 levels fall dramatically in type II skeletal muscles (tibialis anterior), which show marked atrophy, unlike in the liver (where SIRT1 rises) or heart or the soleus, a type I muscle (where SIRT1 is unchanged). Maintenance of high SIRT1 levels by electroporation in mouse muscle inhibits markedly the muscle wasting induced by fasting as well as by denervation, and these protective effects require its deacetylase activity. SIRT1 overexpression reduces muscle wasting by blocking the activation of FoxO1 and 3. It thus prevents the induction of key atrogenes, including the muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases, atrogin1 and MuRF1, and multiple autophagy (Atg) genes and the increase in overall proteolysis. In normal muscle, SIRT1 overexpression by electroporation causes rapid fiber hypertrophy without, surprisingly, activation of the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway. Thus, SIRT1 activation favors postnatal muscle growth, and its fall appears to be critical for atrophy during fasting. Consequently, SIRT1 activation represents an attractive possible pharmacological approach to prevent muscle wasting and cachexia.
The degradation of ubiquitinated proteins by 26 S proteasomes requires ATP hydrolysis. To investigate if the six proteasomal ATPases function independently or in a cyclic manner, as proposed recently, we used yeast mutants that prevent ATP binding to Rpt3, Rpt5, or Rpt6. Although proteasomes contain six ATPase subunits, each of these single mutations caused a 66% reduction in basal ATP hydrolysis, and each blocked completely the 2-3-fold stimulation of ATPase activity induced by ubiquitinated substrates. Therefore, the ATPase subunits must function in a ordered manner, in which each is required for the stimulation of ATPase activity by substrates. Although ATP is essential for multiple steps in proteasome function, when the rate of ATP hydrolysis was reduced incrementally, the degradation of Ub5-DHFR (where Ub is ubiquitin and DHFR is dihydrofolate reductase) decreased exactly in parallel. This direct proportionality implies that a specific number of ATPs is consumed in degrading a ubiquitinated protein. When the ubiquitinated DHFR was more tightly folded (upon addition of the ligand folate), the rate of ATP hydrolysis was unchanged, but the time to degrade a Ub5-DHFR molecule (?13 s) and the energy expenditure (50-80 ATPs/Ub5-DHFR) both increased by 2-fold. With a mutation in the ATPase C terminus that reduced gate opening into the 20 S proteasome, the energy costs and time required for conjugate degradation also increased. Thus, different ubiquitin conjugates activate similarly the ATPase subunit cycle that drives proteolysis, but polypeptide structure determines the time required for degradation and thus the energy cost.
Epidemiological studies in humans suggest that skeletal muscle aging is a risk factor for the development of several age-related diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Here, we review recent studies in mammals and Drosophila highlighting how nutrient- and stress-sensing in skeletal muscle can influence lifespan and overall aging of the organism. In addition to exercise and indirect effects of muscle metabolism, growing evidence suggests that muscle-derived growth factors and cytokines, known as myokines, modulate systemic physiology. Myokines may influence the progression of age-related diseases and contribute to the intertissue communication that underlies systemic aging.
Muscle wasting is associated with a wide range of catabolic diseases. This debilitating loss of muscle mass and functional capacity reduces the quality of life and increases the risks of morbidity and mortality. Major progress has been made in understanding the biochemical mechanisms and signaling pathways regulating muscle protein balance under normal conditions and the enhanced protein loss in atrophying muscles. It is now clear that activation of myostatin/activin signaling is critical in triggering the accelerated muscle catabolism that causes muscle loss in multiple disease states. Binding of myostatin and activin to the ActRIIB receptor complex on muscle cell membrane leads to activation of Smad2/3-mediated transcription, which in turn stimulates FoxO-dependent transcription and enhanced muscle protein breakdown via ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. In addition, Smad activation inhibits muscle protein synthesis by suppressing Akt signaling. Pharmacological blockade of the myostatin/activin-ActRIIB pathway has been shown to prevent or reverse the loss of muscle mass and strength in various disease models including cancer cachexia and renal failure. Moreover, it can markedly prolong the lifespan of animals with cancer-associated muscle loss. Furthermore, inhibiting myostatin/activin actions also improves insulin sensitivity, reduces excessive adiposity, attenuates systemic inflammation, and accelerates bone fracture healing in disease models. Based on these exciting advances, the potential therapeutic benefits of myostatin/activin antagonism are now being tested in multiple clinical settings. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Molecular basis of muscle wasting.
Histone acetylation plays critical roles in chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and epigenetic regulation of gene expression, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Proteasomes usually catalyze ATP- and polyubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Here, we show that the proteasomes containing the activator PA200 catalyze the polyubiquitin-independent degradation of histones. Most proteasomes in mammalian testes ("spermatoproteasomes") contain a spermatid/sperm-specific ? subunit ?4 s/PSMA8 and/or the catalytic ? subunits of immunoproteasomes in addition to PA200. Deletion of PA200 in mice abolishes acetylation-dependent degradation of somatic core histones during DNA double-strand breaks and delays core histone disappearance in elongated spermatids. Purified PA200 greatly promotes ATP-independent proteasomal degradation of the acetylated core histones, but not polyubiquitinated proteins. Furthermore, acetylation on histones is required for their binding to the bromodomain-like regions in PA200 and its yeast ortholog, Blm10. Thus, PA200/Blm10 specifically targets the core histones for acetylation-mediated degradation by proteasomes, providing mechanisms by which acetylation regulates histone degradation, DNA repair, and spermatogenesis.
Cell size is determined by the balance between protein synthesis and degradation. This equilibrium is affected by hormones, nutrients, energy levels, mechanical stress and cytokines. Mutations that inactivate myostatin lead to excessive muscle growth in animals and humans, but the signals and pathways responsible for this hypertrophy remain largely unknown. Here we show that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, acting through Smad1, Smad5 and Smad8 (Smad1/5/8), is the fundamental hypertrophic signal in mice. Inhibition of BMP signaling causes muscle atrophy, abolishes the hypertrophic phenotype of myostatin-deficient mice and strongly exacerbates the effects of denervation and fasting. BMP-Smad1/5/8 signaling negatively regulates a gene (Fbxo30) that encodes a ubiquitin ligase required for muscle loss, which we named muscle ubiquitin ligase of the SCF complex in atrophy-1 (MUSA1). Collectively, these data identify a critical role for the BMP pathway in adult muscle maintenance, growth and atrophy.
Degradation of ubiquitinated proteins by 26 S proteasomes requires ATP hydrolysis, but it is unclear how the proteasomal ATPases are regulated and how proteolysis, substrate deubiquitination, degradation, and ATP hydrolysis are coordinated. Polyubiquitinated proteins were shown to stimulate ATP hydrolysis by purified proteasomes, but only if the proteins contain a loosely folded domain. If they were not ubiquitinated, such proteins did not increase ATPase activity. However, they did so upon addition of ubiquitin aldehyde, which mimics the ubiquitin chain and binds to 26 S-associated deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs): in yeast to Ubp6, which is essential for the ATPase activation, and in mammalian 26 S to the Ubp6 homolog, Usp14, and Uch37. Occupancy of either DUB by a ubiquitin conjugate leads to ATPase stimulation, thereby coupling deubiquitination and ATP hydrolysis. Thus, ubiquitinated loosely folded proteins, after becoming bound to the 26 S, interact with Ubp6/Usp14 or Uch37 to activate ATP hydrolysis and enhance their own destruction.
Although cellular proteins conjugated to K48-linked Ub chains are targeted to proteasomes, proteins conjugated to K63-ubiquitin chains are directed to lysosomes. However, pure 26S proteasomes bind and degrade K48- and K63-ubiquitinated substrates similarly. Therefore, we investigated why K63-ubiquitinated proteins are not degraded by proteasomes. We show that mammalian cells contain soluble factors that selectively bind to K63 chains and inhibit or prevent their association with proteasomes. Using ubiquitinated proteins as affinity ligands, we found that the main cellular proteins that associate selectively with K63 chains and block their binding to proteasomes are ESCRT0 (Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport) and its components, STAM and Hrs. In vivo, knockdown of ESCRT0 confirmed that it is required to block binding of K63-ubiquitinated molecules to the proteasome. In addition, the Rad23 proteins, especially hHR23B, were found to bind specifically to K48-ubiquitinated proteins and to stimulate proteasome binding. The specificities of these proteins for K48- or K63-ubiquitin chains determine whether a ubiquitinated protein is targeted for proteasomal degradation or delivered instead to the endosomal-lysosomal pathway.
Immunoproteasomes are alternative forms of proteasomes that have an enhanced ability to generate antigenic peptides. Recently, Seifert and colleagues reported surprising observations concerning the functions of immunoproteasomes and cellular responses to interferon-?: (1) that immunoproteasomes degrade ubiquitinated proteins faster than the constitutive proteasomes, (2) that polyubiquitin conjugates accumulate after interferon-? treatment but then are preferentially degraded by immunoproteasomes, and (3) that immunoproteasome deficiency causes the formation of inclusions and more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In contrast, we find that polyubiquitin conjugates do not transiently accumulate following IFN?-treatment and that immunoproteasomes do not prevent the formation of intracellular inclusions or protect against EAE. Furthermore, purified 26S constitutive and immunoproteasomes bind ubiquitin conjugates similarly and degrade them at similar rates. We conclude that, although immunoproteasomes can increase the generation of peptides appropriate for MHC class I presentation, they do not degrade ubiquitinated proteins more efficiently than constitutive particles.
For optimal proteolytic function, the central core of the proteasome (core particle (CP) or 20S) has to associate with activators. We investigated the impact of the yeast activator Blm10 on proteasomal peptide and protein degradation. We found enhanced degradation of peptide substrates in the presence of Blm10 and demonstrated that Blm10 has the capacity to accelerate proteasomal turnover of the unstructured protein tau-441 in vitro. Mechanistically, proteasome activation requires the opening of a closed gate, which allows passage of unfolded proteins into the catalytic chamber. Our data indicate that gate opening by Blm10 is achieved via engagement of its C-terminal segment with the CP. Crucial for this activity is a conserved C-terminal YYX motif, with the penultimate tyrosine playing a preeminent role. Thus, Blm10 utilizes a gate opening strategy analogous to the proteasomal ATPases HbYX-dependent mechanism. Because gating incompetent Blm10 C-terminal point mutants confers a loss of function phenotype, we propose that the cellular function of Blm10 is based on CP association and activation to promote the degradation of proteasome substrates.
?-Synuclein is an abundant brain protein that binds to lipid membranes and is involved in the recycling of presynaptic vesicles. In Parkinson disease, ?-synuclein accumulates in intraneuronal inclusions often containing ubiquitin chains. Here we show that the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4, which functions in the endosomal-lysosomal pathway, robustly ubiquitinates ?-synuclein, unlike ligases previously implicated in its degradation. Purified Nedd4 recognizes the carboxyl terminus of ?-synuclein (residues 120-133) and attaches K63-linked ubiquitin chains. In human cells, Nedd4 overexpression enhances ?-synuclein ubiquitination and clearance by a lysosomal process requiring components of the endosomal-sorting complex required for transport. Conversely, Nedd4 down-regulation increases ?-synuclein content. In yeast, disruption of the Nedd4 ortholog Rsp5p decreases ?-synuclein degradation and enhances inclusion formation and ?-synuclein toxicity. In human brains, Nedd4 is present in pigmented neurons and is expressed especially strongly in neurons containing Lewy bodies. Thus, ubiquitination by Nedd4 targets ?-synuclein to the endosomal-lysosomal pathway and, by reducing ?-synuclein content, may help protect against the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and other ?-synucleinopathies.
Prion diseases are associated with the conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to toxic ?-sheet isoforms (PrP(Sc)), which are reported to inhibit the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Accordingly, UPS substrates accumulate in prion-infected mouse brains, suggesting impairment of the 26S proteasome. A direct interaction between its 20S core particle and PrP isoforms was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation. ?-PrP aggregates associated with the 20S particle, but did not impede binding of the PA26 complex, suggesting that the aggregates do not bind to its ends. Aggregated ?-PrP reduced the 20S proteasomes basal peptidase activity, and the enhanced activity induced by C-terminal peptides from the 19S ATPases or by the 19S regulator itself, including when stimulated by polyubiquitin conjugates. However, the 20S proteasome was not inhibited when the gate in the ?-ring was open due to a truncation mutation or by association with PA26/PA28. These PrP aggregates inhibit by stabilising the closed conformation of the substrate entry channel. A similar inhibition of substrate entry into the proteasome may occur in other neurodegenerative diseases where misfolded ?-sheet-rich proteins accumulate.
The ubiquitin-proteasome system catalyzes the degradation of intracellular proteins. Although ubiquitination of proteins determines their stabilities, there is growing evidence that proteasome function is also regulated. We report the functional characterization of a conserved proteasomal regulatory complex. We identified DmPI31 as a binding partner of the F box protein Nutcracker, a component of an SCF ubiquitin ligase (E3) required for caspase activation during sperm differentiation in Drosophila. DmPI31 binds Nutcracker via a conserved mechanism that is also used by mammalian FBXO7 and PI31. Nutcracker promotes DmPI31 stability, which is necessary for caspase activation, proteasome function, and sperm differentiation. DmPI31 can activate 26S proteasomes in vitro, and increasing DmPI31 levels suppresses defects caused by diminished proteasome activity in vivo. Furthermore, loss of DmPI31 function causes lethality, cell-cycle abnormalities, and defects in protein degradation, demonstrating that DmPI31 is physiologically required for normal proteasome activity.
In the eukaryotic 26S proteasome, the 20S particle is regulated by six AAA ATPase subunits and, in archaea, by a homologous ring complex, PAN. To clarify the role of ATP in proteolysis, we studied how nucleotides bind to PAN. Although PAN has six identical subunits, it binds ATPs in pairs, and its subunits exhibit three conformational states with high, low, or no affinity for ATP. When PAN binds two ATP?S molecules or two ATP?S plus two ADP molecules, it is maximally active in binding protein substrates, associating with the 20S particle, and promoting 20S gate opening. However, binding of four ATP?S molecules reduces these functions. The 26S proteasome shows similar nucleotide dependence. These findings imply an ordered cyclical mechanism in which two ATPase subunits bind ATP simultaneously and dock into the 20S. These results can explain how these hexameric ATPases interact with and "wobble" on top of the heptameric 20S proteasome.
ERAP1 trims antigen precursors to fit into MHC class I proteins. To fulfill this function, ERAP1 has unique substrate preferences, trimming long peptides but sparing shorter ones. To identify the structural basis for ERAP1s unusual properties, we determined the X-ray crystal structure of human ERAP1 bound to bestatin. The structure reveals an open conformation with a large interior compartment. An extended groove originating from the enzymes catalytic center can accommodate long peptides and has features that explain ERAP1s broad specificity for antigenic peptide precursors. Structural and biochemical analyses suggest a mechanism for ERAP1s length-dependent trimming activity, whereby binding of long rather than short substrates induces a conformational change with reorientation of a key catalytic residue toward the active site. ERAP1s unique structural elements suggest how a generic aminopeptidase structure has been adapted for the specialized function of trimming antigenic precursors.
Among the hallmarks of aged organisms are an accumulation of misfolded proteins and a reduction in skeletal muscle mass ("sarcopenia"). We have examined the effects of aging and dietary restriction (which retards many age-related changes) on components of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in muscle. The hindlimb muscles of aged (30 months old) rats showed a marked loss of muscle mass and contained 2-3-fold higher levels of 26S proteasomes than those of adult (4 months old) controls. 26S proteasomes purified from muscles of aged and adult rats showed a similar capacity to degrade peptides, proteins, and an ubiquitylated substrate, but differed in levels of proteasome-associated proteins (e.g. the ubiquitin ligase E6AP and deubiquitylating enzyme USP14). Also, the activities of many other deubiquitylating enzymes were greatly enhanced in the aged muscles. Nevertheless, their content of polyubiquitylated proteins was higher than in adult animals. The aged muscles contained higher levels of the ubiquitin ligase CHIP, involved in eliminating misfolded proteins, and MuRF1, which ubiquitylates myofibrillar proteins. These muscles differed from ones rapidly atrophying due to disease, fasting, or disuse in that Atrogin-1/MAFbx expression was low and not inducible by glucocorticoids. Thus, the muscles of aged rats showed many adaptations indicating enhanced proteolysis by the UPS, which may enhance their capacity to eliminate misfolded proteins and seems to contribute to the sarcopenia. Accordingly, dietary restriction decreased or prevented the aging-associated increases in proteasomes and other UPS components and reduced muscle wasting.
The size of skeletal muscle cells is precisely regulated by intracellular signaling networks that determine the balance between overall rates of protein synthesis and degradation. Myofiber growth and protein synthesis are stimulated by the IGF-1/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. In this study, we show that the transcription factor JunB is also a major determinant of whether adult muscles grow or atrophy. We found that in atrophying myotubes, JunB is excluded from the nucleus and that decreasing JunB expression by RNA interference in adult muscles causes atrophy. Furthermore, JunB overexpression induces hypertrophy without affecting satellite cell proliferation and stimulated protein synthesis independently of the Akt/mTOR pathway. When JunB is transfected into denervated muscles, fiber atrophy is prevented. JunB blocks FoxO3 binding to atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 promoters and thus reduces protein breakdown. Therefore, JunB is important not only in dividing populations but also in adult muscle, where it is required for the maintenance of muscle size and can induce rapid hypertrophy and block atrophy.
A major function of proteasomes and macroautophagy is to eliminate misfolded potentially toxic proteins. Mammalian proteasomes, however, cannot cleave polyglutamine (polyQ) sequences and seem to release polyQ-rich peptides. Puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase (PSA) is the only cytosolic enzyme able to digest polyQ sequences. We tested whether PSA can protect against accumulation of polyQ fragments. In cultured cells, Drosophila and mouse muscles, PSA inhibition or knockdown increased aggregate content and toxicity of polyQ-expanded huntingtin exon 1. Conversely, PSA overexpression decreased aggregate content and toxicity. PSA inhibition also increased the levels of polyQ-expanded ataxin-3 as well as mutant ?-synuclein and superoxide dismutase 1. These protective effects result from an unexpected ability of PSA to enhance macroautophagy. PSA overexpression increased, and PSA knockdown or inhibition reduced microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) levels and the amount of protein degradation sensitive to inhibitors of lysosomal function and autophagy. Thus, by promoting autophagic protein clearance, PSA helps protect against accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins and proteotoxicity.
Eukaryotic cells target proteins for degradation by the 26S proteasome by attaching a ubiquitin chain. Using a rapid assay, we analyzed the initial binding of ubiquitinated proteins to purified 26S particles as an isolated process at 4°C. Subunits Rpn10 and Rpn13 contribute equally to the high-affinity binding of ubiquitin chains, but in their absence, ubiquitin conjugates bind to another site with 4-fold lower affinity. Conjugate binding is stimulated 2- to 4-fold by binding of ATP or the nonhydrolyzable analog, ATP?S (but not ADP), to the 19S ATPases. Following this initial, reversible association, ubiquitin conjugates at 37°C become more tightly bound through a step that requires ATP hydrolysis and a loosely folded domain on the protein, but appears independent of ubiquitin. Unfolded or loosely folded polypeptides can inhibit this tighter binding. This commitment step precedes substrate deubiquitination and allows for selection of ubiquitinated proteins capable of being unfolded and efficiently degraded.
Proteasome-mediated proteolysis is important for synaptic plasticity, neuronal development, protein quality control, and many other processes in neurons. To define proteasome composition in brain, we affinity purified 26S proteasomes from cytosolic and synaptic compartments of the rat cortex. Using tandem mass spectrometry, we identified the standard 26S subunits and a set of 28 proteasome-interacting proteins that associated substoichiometrically and may serve as regulators or cofactors. This set differed from those in other tissues and we also found several proteins that associated only with either the cytosolic or the synaptic proteasome. The latter included the ubiquitin-binding factor TAX1BP1 and synaptic vesicle protein SNAP-25. Native gel electrophoresis revealed a higher proportion of doubly-capped 26S proteasome (19S-20S-19S) in the cortex than in the liver or kidney. To investigate the interplay between proteasome regulation and synaptic plasticity, we exposed cultured neurons to glutamate receptor agonist NMDA. Within 4 h, this agent caused a prolonged decrease in the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system as shown by disassembly of 26S proteasomes, decrease in ubiquitin-protein conjugates, and dissociation of the ubiquitin ligases UBE3A (E6-AP) and HUWE1 from the proteasome. Surprisingly, the regulatory 19S particles were rapidly degraded by proteasomal, not lysosomal degradation, and the dissociated E3 enzymes also degraded. Thus the content of proteasomes and their set of associated proteins can be altered by neuronal activity, in a manner likely to influence synaptic plasticity and learning.
Overexpression of the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha), like exercise, increases mitochondrial content and inhibits muscle atrophy. To understand these actions, we tested whether PGC-1alpha or its close homolog, PGC-1beta, influences muscle protein turnover. In myotubes, overexpression of either coactivator increased protein content by decreasing overall protein degradation without altering protein synthesis rates. Elevated PGC-1alpha or PGC-1beta also prevented the acceleration of proteolysis induced by starvation or FoxO transcription factors and prevented the induction of autophagy and atrophy-specific ubiquitin ligases by a constitutively active FoxO3. In mouse muscles, overexpression of PGC-1beta (like PGC-1alpha) inhibited denervation atrophy, ubiquitin ligase induction, and transcription by NFkappaB. However, increasing muscle PGC-1alpha levels pharmacologically by treatment of mice with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside failed to block loss of muscle mass or induction of ubiquitin ligases upon denervation atrophy, although it prevented loss of mitochondria. This capacity of PGC-1alpha and PGC-1beta to inhibit FoxO3 and NFkappaB actions and proteolysis helps explain how exercise prevents muscle atrophy.
Muscle wasting and cachexia have long been postulated to be key determinants of cancer-related death, but there has been no direct experimental evidence to substantiate this hypothesis. Here, we show that in several cancer cachexia models, pharmacological blockade of ActRIIB pathway not only prevents further muscle wasting but also completely reverses prior loss of skeletal muscle and cancer-induced cardiac atrophy. This treatment dramatically prolongs survival, even of animals in which tumor growth is not inhibited and fat loss and production of proinflammatory cytokines are not reduced. ActRIIB pathway blockade abolished the activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the induction of atrophy-specific ubiquitin ligases in muscles and also markedly stimulated muscle stem cell growth. These findings establish a crucial link between activation of the ActRIIB pathway and the development of cancer cachexia. Thus ActRIIB antagonism is a promising new approach for treating cancer cachexia, whose inhibition per se prolongs survival.
Molecular chaperones of the Hsp70/40 family protect against the accumulation of mutated or misfolded proteins in part by facilitating their degradation. In the polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, mutant proteins containing expanded polyQ repeats accumulate in intracellular inclusions and cause neurodegeneration. Although the ubiquitin-proteasome system and chaperones all help protect against accumulation of such toxic proteins, their precise roles are still unclear. Here we observed that the polyQ-expanded mutant ataxin-1 [82Q] was rapidly and selectively degraded in yeast while the wild-type protein [30Q] was stable. The selective degradation of the mutant ataxin-1 required proteasomes, but did not require Ydj1p, an Hsp40 homolog, which is involved in the disaggregation and/or breakdown of a number of misfolded proteins. However, another chaperone Hsp104 promoted degradation of mutant ataxin-1 without influencing the solubility or breakdown of short-lived cell proteins generally. Thus Hsp104-dependent degradation of mutant ataxin-1 may account for the ability of this chaperone to reduce toxicity caused by polyQ-repeat proteins.
Protein degradation in the 20S proteasome is regulated in eukaryotes by the 19S ATPase complex and in archaea by the homologous PAN ATPase ring complex. Subunits of these hexameric ATPases contain on their C-termini a conserved hydrophobic-tyrosine-X (HbYX) motif that docks into pockets in the 20S to stimulate the opening of a gated substrate entry channel. Here, we report the crystal structure of the archaeal 20S proteasome in complex with the C-terminus of the archaeal proteasome regulatory ATPase, PAN. This structure defines the detailed interactions between the critical C-terminal HbYX motif and the 20S alpha-subunits and indicates that the intersubunit pocket in the 20S undergoes an induced-fit conformational change on binding of the HbYX motif. This structure together with related mutagenesis data suggest how in eukaryotes certain proteasomal ATPases bind to specific pockets in an asymmetrical manner to regulate gate opening.
In eukaryotic cells, ubiquitination of proteins leads to their degradation by the 26S proteasome. We tested if the ubiquitin (Ub) chain also regulates the proteasomes capacity for proteolysis. After incubation with polyubiquitinated proteins, 26S proteasomes hydrolyzed peptides and proteins 2- to 7-fold faster. Ub conjugates enhanced peptide hydrolysis by stimulating gate opening in the 20S proteasome. This stimulation was seen when this gate was closed or transiently open, but not maximally open. Gate opening requires conjugate association with Usp14/Ubp6 and also occurs if Ub aldehyde occupies this isopeptidases active site. No stimulation was observed with 26S from Ubp6Delta mutants, but this effect was restored upon addition of Usp14/Ubp6 (even an inactive Ubp6). The stimulation of gate opening by Ub conjugates through Usp14/Ubp6 requires nucleotide binding to the gate-regulatory ATPases. This activation enhances the selectivity of the 26S proteasome for ubiquitinated proteins and links their deubiquitination to their degradation.
Assembly of complex structures such as the eukaryotic 26S proteasome requires intricate mechanisms that ensure precise subunit arrangements. Recent studies have shed light on the pathway for ordered assembly of the base of the 19S regulatory particle of the 26S proteasome by identifying new precursor complexes and four dedicated chaperones involved in its assembly.
Loss of myofibrillar proteins is a hallmark of atrophying muscle. Expression of muscle RING-finger 1 (MuRF1), a ubiquitin ligase, is markedly induced during atrophy, and MuRF1 deletion attenuates muscle wasting. We generated mice expressing a Ring-deletion mutant MuRF1, which binds but cannot ubiquitylate substrates. Mass spectrometry of the bound proteins in denervated muscle identified many myofibrillar components. Upon denervation or fasting, atrophying muscles show a loss of myosin-binding protein C (MyBP-C) and myosin light chains 1 and 2 (MyLC1 and MyLC2) from the myofibril, before any measurable decrease in myosin heavy chain (MyHC). Their selective loss requires MuRF1. MyHC is protected from ubiquitylation in myofibrils by associated proteins, but eventually undergoes MuRF1-dependent degradation. In contrast, MuRF1 ubiquitylates MyBP-C, MyLC1, and MyLC2, even in myofibrils. Because these proteins stabilize the thick filament, their selective ubiquitylation may facilitate thick filament disassembly. However, the thin filament components decreased by a mechanism not requiring MuRF1.
Ubiquitin (Ub)-protein conjugates formed by purified ring-finger or U-box E3s with the E2, UbcH5, resist degradation and disassembly by 26S proteasomes. These chains contain multiple types of Ub forks in which two Ubs are linked to adjacent lysines on the proximal Ub. We tested whether cells contain factors that prevent formation of nondegradable conjugates and whether the forked chains prevent proteasomal degradation. S5a is a ubiquitin interacting motif (UIM) protein present in the cytosol and in the 26S proteasome. Addition of S5a or a GST-fusion of S5as UIM domains to a ubiquitination reaction containing 26S proteasomes, UbcH5, an E3 (MuRF1 or CHIP), and a protein substrate, dramatically stimulated its degradation, provided S5a was present during ubiquitination. Mass spectrometry showed that S5a and GST-UIM prevented the formation of Ub forks without affecting synthesis of standard isopeptide linkages. The forked Ub chains bind poorly to 26S proteasomes unlike those synthesized with S5a present or linked to Lys63 or Lys48 chains. Thus, S5a (and presumably certain other UIM proteins) function with certain E3/E2 pairs to ensure synthesis of efficiently degraded non-forked Ub conjugates.
S5a/Rpn10 is a ubiquitin (Ub)-binding protein that is a subunit of the 26S proteasome but also exists free in the cytosol. It binds poly-Ub chains through its two Ub-interacting motifs (UIMs). We discovered that, unlike typical substrates of Ub ligases (E3s), S5a can be ubiquitinated by all E3s tested including multimeric and monomeric Ring finger E3s (MuRF1, Siah2, Parkin, APC, and SCF(betaTRCP1)), the U-box E3, CHIP, and HECT domain E3s (E6AP and Nedd4) when assayed with UbcH5 or related Ub-conjugating enzymes. However, the E2s, UbcH1 and UbcH13/Uev1a, which function by distinct mechanisms, do not support S5a ubiquitination. Thus, S5a can be used for assay of probably all E3s with UbcH5. Ubiquitination of S5a results from its binding to Ub chains on the E3 (after self-ubiquitination) or on the substrate, as a mutant lacking the UIM domain was not ubiquitinated. Furthermore, if the S5a UIM domains were fused to GST, the protein was rapidly ubiquitinated by MuRF1 and CHIP. In addition, polyubiquitination (but not monoubiquitination) of MuRF1 allowed S5a to bind to MuRF1 and accelerated S5a ubiquitination. This tendency of S5a to associate with the growing Ub chain can explain how S5a, unlike typical substrates, which are recognized by certain E3s through specific motifs, is ubiquitinated by all E3s tested and is rapidly degraded in vivo.
Recent studies, mainly in yeast, have identified various cofactors that associate with the 26S proteasome and appear to influence its function. To identify these proteins in different cells and physiological states, we developed a method to gently and rapidly isolate 26S proteasomes and associated proteins without the need for genetic modifications of the proteasome. This method is based on the affinity of this complex for the ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain of hHR23B and elution with a competing polypeptide containing a ubiquitin-interacting motif. Associated with 26S proteasomes from rat muscle were a variety of known proteasome-interacting proteins, activators, and ubiquitin conjugates. In addition, we identified over 40 proteins not previously known to associate with the 26S proteasome, some of which were tightly associated with the proteasome in a substoichiometric fashion, e.g., the deubiquitinating enzymes USP5/isopeptidase T and USP7/HAUSP and the ubiquitin ligases ARF-BP1/HUWE1 and p600/UBR4. By altering buffer conditions, we also purified by this approach complexes of the ATPase p97/VCP associated with its adaptor proteins Ufd1-Npl4, p47, SAKS1, and FAF1, all of which contain ubiquitin-binding motifs. These complexes were isolated with ubiquitin conjugates bound and were not previously known to bind to the UBL domain of hHR23B. These various UBL-interacting proteins, dubbed the UBL interactome, represent a network of proteins that function together in ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis, and the UBL method offers many advantages for studies of the diversity, functions, and regulation of 26S proteasomes and p97 complexes under different conditions.
The proteasome is the primary site for protein degradation in mammalian cells, and proteasome inhibitors have been invaluable tools in clarifying its cellular functions. The anticancer agent bortezomib inhibits the major peptidase sites in the proteasomes 20S core particle. It is a "blockbuster drug" that has led to dramatic improvements in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells. The development of proteasome inhibitors illustrates the unpredictability, frustrations, and potential rewards of drug development but also emphasizes the dependence of medical advances on basic biological research.
Poorly structured domains in proteins enhance their susceptibility to proteasomal degradation. To learn whether the presence of such a domain near either end of a protein determines its direction of entry into the proteasome, directional translocation was enforced on several proteasome substrates. Using archaeal PAN-20S complexes, mammalian 26S proteasomes, and cultured cells, we identified proteins that are degraded exclusively from either the C or N terminus and some showing no directional preference. This property results from interactions of the substrates termini with the regulatory ATPase and could be predicted based on the calculated relative stabilities of the N and C termini. Surprisingly, the direction of entry into the proteasome affected markedly the spectrum of peptides released and consequently influenced the efficiency of MHC class I presentation. Thus, easily unfolded termini are translocated first, and the direction of translocation influences the peptides generated and presented to the immune system.
Proteases have been successfully targeted for the treatment of several diseases, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, multiple myeloma, HIV and hepatitis C virus infections. Given the demonstrated pharmacological tractability of this enzyme family and the pressing need for novel drugs to combat antibiotic resistance, proteases have also attracted interest as antibacterial targets--particularly the widely conserved intracellular bacterial degradative proteases, which are often indispensable for normal bacterial growth or virulence. This Review summarizes the roles of the key prokaryotic degradative proteases, with a focus on the initial efforts and associated challenges in developing specific therapeutic modulators of these enzymes as novel classes of antibacterial drugs.
During muscle atrophy, myofibrillar proteins are degraded in an ordered process in which MuRF1 catalyzes ubiquitylation of thick filament components (Cohen et al. 2009. J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200901052). Here, we show that another ubiquitin ligase, Trim32, ubiquitylates thin filament (actin, tropomyosin, troponins) and Z-band (?-actinin) components and promotes their degradation. Down-regulation of Trim32 during fasting reduced fiber atrophy and the rapid loss of thin filaments. Desmin filaments were proposed to maintain the integrity of thin filaments. Accordingly, we find that the rapid destruction of thin filament proteins upon fasting was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of desmin filaments, which promoted desmin ubiquitylation by Trim32 and degradation. Reducing Trim32 levels prevented the loss of both desmin and thin filament proteins. Furthermore, overexpression of an inhibitor of desmin polymerization induced disassembly of desmin filaments and destruction of thin filament components. Thus, during fasting, desmin phosphorylation increases and enhances Trim32-mediated degradation of the desmin cytoskeleton, which appears to facilitate the breakdown of Z-bands and thin filaments.
Due to genome instability, most cancers exhibit loss of regions containing tumor suppressor genes and collateral loss of other genes. To identify cancer-specific vulnerabilities that are the result of copy number losses, we performed integrated analyses of genome-wide copy number and RNAi profiles and identified 56 genes for which gene suppression specifically inhibited the proliferation of cells harboring partial copy number loss of that gene. These CYCLOPS (copy number alterations yielding cancer liabilities owing to partial loss) genes are enriched for spliceosome, proteasome, and ribosome components. One CYCLOPS gene, PSMC2, encodes an essential member of the 19S proteasome. Normal cells express excess PSMC2, which resides in a complex with PSMC1, PSMD2, and PSMD5 and acts as a reservoir protecting cells from PSMC2 suppression. Cells harboring partial PSMC2 copy number loss lack this complex and die after PSMC2 suppression. These observations define a distinct class of cancer-specific liabilities resulting from genome instability.
The p97/VCP ATPase complex facilitates the extraction and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins from larger structures. We therefore studied if p97 participates to the rapid degradation of myofibrillar proteins during muscle atrophy. Electroporation of a dominant negative p97 (DNp97), but not the WT, into mouse muscle reduced fibre atrophy caused by denervation and food deprivation. DNp97 (acting as a substrate-trap) became associated with specific myofibrillar proteins and its cofactors, Ufd1 and p47, and caused accumulation of ubiquitinated components of thin and thick filaments, which suggests a role for p97 in extracting ubiquitinated proteins from myofibrils. DNp97 expression in myotubes reduced overall proteolysis by proteasomes and lysosomes and blocked the accelerated proteolysis induced by FoxO3, which is essential for atrophy. Expression of p97, Ufd1 and p47 increases following denervation, at times when myofibrils are rapidly degraded. Surprisingly, p97 inhibition, though toxic to most cells, caused rapid growth of myotubes (without enhancing protein synthesis) and hypertrophy of adult muscles. Thus, p97 restrains post-natal muscle growth, and during atrophy, is essential for the accelerated degradation of most muscle proteins.
In neurodegenerative diseases caused by extended polyglutamine (polyQ) sequences in proteins, aggregation-prone polyQ proteins accumulate in intraneuronal inclusions. PolyQ proteins can be degraded by lysosomes or proteasomes. Proteasomes are unable to hydrolyze polyQ repeat sequences, and during breakdown of polyQ proteins, they release polyQ repeat fragments for degradation by other cellular enzymes. This study was undertaken to identify the responsible proteases. Lysosomal extracts (unlike cytosolic enzymes) were found to rapidly hydrolyze polyQ sequences in peptides, proteins, or insoluble aggregates. Using specific inhibitors against lysosomal proteases, enzyme-deficient extracts, and pure cathepsins, we identified cathepsins L and Z as the lysosomal cysteine proteases that digest polyQ proteins and peptides. RNAi for cathepsins L and Z in different cell lines and adult mouse muscles confirmed that they are critical in degrading polyQ proteins (expanded huntingtin exon 1) but not other types of aggregation-prone proteins (e.g. mutant SOD1). Therefore, the activities of these two lysosomal cysteine proteases are important in host defense against toxic accumulation of polyQ proteins.
In most bacteria, Clp protease is a conserved, non-essential serine protease that regulates the response to various stresses. Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Mycobacterium smegmatis, unlike most well studied prokaryotes, encode two ClpP homologs, ClpP1 and ClpP2, in a single operon. Here we demonstrate that the two proteins form a mixed complex (ClpP1P2) in mycobacteria. Using two different approaches, promoter replacement, and a novel system of inducible protein degradation, leading to inducible expression of clpP1 and clpP2, we demonstrate that both genes are essential for growth and that a marked depletion of either one results in rapid bacterial death. ClpP1P2 protease appears important in degrading missense and prematurely terminated peptides, as partial depletion of ClpP2 reduced growth specifically in the presence of antibiotics that increase errors in translation. We further show that the ClpP1P2 protease is required for the degradation of proteins tagged with the SsrA motif, a tag co-translationally added to incomplete protein products. Using active site mutants of ClpP1 and ClpP2, we show that the activity of each subunit is required for proteolysis, for normal growth of Mtb in vitro and during infection of mice. These observations suggest that the Clp protease plays an unusual and essential role in Mtb and may serve as an ideal target for antimycobacterial therapy.
The assay of the activity of ubiquitin (Ub) ligases (E3s) and screens for pharmacological agents that alter their function are a continual challenge for basic investigators as well as in drug development. The assay of different E3s requires distinct detection methods and reagents (e.g., specific antibodies against each E3 or substrate). So, a single assay applicable to many E3s could be very useful. Here, we demonstrate that S5a/Rpn10 binds to the growing polyUb chain formed on a substrate (or on the Ub ligase during autoubiquitination) and then itself becomes extensively ubiquitinated. S5a thus can serve as a universal substrate for ubiquitination. This biochemical property of S5a provides a method for measuring the enzymatic activity of any E3. This approach is valuable when substrates are not known or not available and when multiple ubiquitination reactions are being studied (e.g., in high-throughput screens).
The biological role and fates of ubiquitin (Ub) conjugates are determined by the nature of the ubiquitin chain formed on the protein. Recently, we reported that Ring-finger and U-box ubiquitin ligases (E3s), when functioning with different E2s, synthesize different types of ubiquitin chains on the same substrate, and with UbcH5, form a novel type of chain that is resistant to degradation and deubiquitination by 26S proteasomes. Analysis by mass spectrometry demonstrated that these chains are forked; i.e., two Ub moieties are linked to neighboring lysines on the proximal Ub. In an effort to find the cellular mechanisms that protect against the generation of such nondegradable Ub conjugates, we discovered that the presence of S5a (Rpn10) or a GST-fusion of S5as UIM domains in a ubiquitination reaction led to the formation of conjugates that were rapidly degraded. Mass spectrometry revealed that S5a and GST-UIM prevent the formation of Ub forks without affecting the synthesis of standard isopeptide linkages. S5a is an abundant Ub-binding UIM protein present in the 26S proteasome and free in the cell. Preventing forked chain formation appears to be one role of free S5a. The forked Ub chains bind poorly to 26S proteasomes, unlike homogeneous Ub chains containing K63 or K48 linkages and chains synthesized with S5a present. Thus, S5a (and presumably some other cellular UIM-proteins) functions like a molecular chaperone with certain E2-E3 pairs to ensure synthesis of efficiently degraded nonforked ubiquitin conjugates.
The standard methods for the isolation of the 26S proteasomes from mammalian tissues have long involved multiple chromatographic steps. This process led to loss of loosely associated regulatory proteins or cofactors and yielded particles with low functional capacity. Here, we describe a single-step affinity purification of 26S proteasome complexes that preserves the association with many 26S proteasome-interacting proteins. Our approach uses the ubiquitin-like domain of human RAD23B as an affinity bait, which allows the rapid and gentle isolation of 26S proteasomes with high purity. This strategy does not require the genetic introduction of tagged subunits nor expensive antibodies, and therefore can be used to isolate 26S proteasomes from any mammalian tissue or yeast. This method, therefore, is an important new tool to study 26S proteasome function in various models of human diseases that are linked to changes in the ubiquitin proteasome system, for example the increased proteasomal proteolysis seen in muscle wasting or the decreased proteasomal capacity that has been reported in various neurodegenerative diseases.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) contains two clpP genes, both of which are essential for viability. We expressed and purified Mtb ClpP1 and ClpP2 separately. Although each formed a tetradecameric structure and was processed, they lacked proteolytic activity. We could, however, reconstitute an active, mixed ClpP1P2 complex after identifying N-blocked dipeptides that stimulate dramatically (>1000-fold) ClpP1P2 activity against certain peptides and proteins. These activators function cooperatively to induce the dissociation of ClpP1 and ClpP2 tetradecamers into heptameric rings, which then re-associate to form the active ClpP1P2 2-ring mixed complex. No analogous small molecule-induced enzyme activation mechanism involving dissociation and re-association of multimeric rings has been described. ClpP1P2 possesses chymotrypsin and caspase-like activities, and ClpP1 and ClpP2 differ in cleavage preferences. The regulatory ATPase ClpC1 was purified and shown to increase hydrolysis of proteins by ClpP1P2, but not peptides. ClpC1 did not activate ClpP1 or ClpP2 homotetradecamers and stimulated ClpP1P2 only when both ATP and a dipeptide activator were present. ClpP1P2 activity, its unusual activation mechanism and ClpC1 ATPase represent attractive drug targets to combat tuberculosis.
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