Modulation of the Chymotrypsin-Like Activity of the 20S Proteasome by Intracellular Redox Status: Effects of Glutathione Peroxidase-1 Overexpression and Antioxidant Drugs

C. Kretz-Remy and A.-P. Arrigo


ATP- and ubiquitin-independent proteolysis by the 20S proteasome is responsible for the selective degradation of oxidized proteins. In vitro, the 20S proteasome shows an increased proteolytic activity toward oxidized polypeptides and the suc-LLVY-MCA peptide specific for its chymotrypsinlike activity. We have analyzed the effect of the intracellular redox status on the chymotrypsin-like activity of the 20S proteasome in human T47D cells overexpressing the detoxifiant enzyme seleno-glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx-1). We report a 30% decreased activity of the chymotrypsin-like activity in cells overexpressing GPx-1. This phenomenon correlated with a 2-fold increase in IκBα half-life, a protein whose basal turnover is 20S proteasome-dependent. Following exposure to H2O2, these cells showed a seleno-dependently decreased accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species and 20S proteasome chymotrypsin like activity. Similar results were obtained in HeLa cells transiently overexpressing human GPx-1. Moreover, exposure of HeLa cells to antioxidant compounds reduced the proteasome 20S chymotrypsin like activity. In contrast, no effects were observed when HeLa cell extracts used to determine proteasome activity were incubated with either reduced or oxidized glutathione. These results suggest that GPx-1 activity or proreducing conditions can downregulate basal 20S proteasome activity. Hence, the intracellular redox status, probably through the level of oxidized proteins, is an important element that can either activate or down-regulate the 20S proteasome chymotrypsin-like activity in living cells.

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Biological Chemistry keeps you up-to-date with the latest advances in the molecular life sciences. The journal publishes Research Articles, Short Communications, Reviews and Minireviews. Areas include: general biochemistry/pathobiochemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, genetics and epigenetics, virology, molecular medicine, plant molecular biology/biochemistry and novel experimental methodologies.