The polyphenol quercetin protects from glucotoxicity depending on the aggresome in Caenorhabditis elegans
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Impaired proteostasis, i.e., protein homeostasis, is considered as a consequence of high-glucose exposure and is associated with reduced survival. The previous studies demonstrated that the polyphenol quercetin can protect from glucotoxicity. The aim of the present study was to unravel the contribution of the aggresome, sequestering potentially cytotoxic aggregates and also acting as a staging center for eventual autophagic clearance from the cell.
Knockdown of the aggresome-relevant genes dnc-1 and ubql-1 was achieved in stress-sensitive mev-1 mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by RNA interference (RNAi). Survival assay was conducted under heat stress at 37 °C, protein aggregation using ProteoStat® and chymotrypsin-like proteasomal activity according to the cleavage of a fluorogenic peptide substrate.
Survival was reduced by knockdown of ubql-1 and even more by knockdown of dnc-1 which both were not further reduced by addition of glucose. The rescue of survival due to quercetin in glucose-exposed nematodes was completely prevented under RNAi versus ubql-1 or dnc-1. Both knockdowns caused an increase of aggregated protein and prevented the reduction of aggregated protein caused by quercetin in glucose-exposed animals. Finally, the knockdown of ubql-1 and dnc-1 blocked the increase of proteasomal activity achieved by quercetin in glucose-treated nematodes.
The study provides evidence that quercetin protects C. elegans from glucotoxicity through the activation of the aggresome, thereby, quercetin prevents the aggregation and functional loss of proteins, which is typically caused by enhanced glucose concentrations.
KeywordsAggresome Proteasome Caenorhabditis elegans Glucotoxicity Quercetin Survival
- C. elegans
Dynactin complex component
- E. coli
Reactive oxygen species
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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