Ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent proteolysis in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): effect of food deprivation
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The ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway is a major route of protein degradation and of particular importance in muscle proteolysis in mammals. In this study, the β proteasome subunit N3 and polyubiquitin genes of the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were sequenced and tissue distribution of gene expression was examined. The effects of 14-day food withdrawal were assessed on the N3 subunit and polyubiquitin gene expression in terms of mRNA, 20S proteasome proteolytic activity and ubiquitin protein abundance in trout liver and muscle. Both sequences are highly conserved, and the rainbow trout ubiquitin amino acid sequence is identical to the mammalian protein. The proteasome β subunit N3 has 92% similarity to the Xenopus sequence. Starvation halved the polyubiquitin mRNA level in liver but had no effect on muscle levels. No significant effect of food withdrawal was observed on the proteasome mRNA in liver or muscle. Food withdrawal decreased the 20S proteasome proteolytic activity and the abundance of ubiquitin protein in both muscle and liver. Co-regulation of the proteasome and ubiquitin was indicated by the high correlation (R=0.924) between 20S activity and ubiquitin abundance. Overall, this study demonstrates that starvation down-regulates the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, possibly highlighting differences in the regulation of protein turnover in poikilothermic and endothermic animals.
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