, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 55–61 | Cite as

Proteasome inhibition induces a senescence-like phenotype in primary human fibroblasts cultures



Senescent human fibroblasts exhibit several genetic and biochemical differences as compared to their young counterparts including abnormalities of the main proteolytic mechanism, namely the proteasome. Specifically,we and others have shown that there is an impaired function of the proteasome, as senescent cells have reduced proteolytic activities and less proteasome content. In a complementary work we have recently shown that inhibition of the proteasome by a specific inhibitor induces a senescence-like phenotype in young WI38 fibroblasts [Chondrogianni et al. (2003)J Biol Chem 278: 28026–28037]. In this study we tested whether the induction of a senescence-like phenotype following treatment with proteasome inhibitors is a common feature of primary human fibroblasts. A comparative biochemical analysis, after employing three different human fibroblasts cell lines (IMR90, MRC5 and WI38 cells), as well as two proteasome inhibitors(epoxomicin and MG132), has shown that proteasome inhibition results in the appearance of a senescence-like phenotype in all cell lines used. Proteasome inhibitors treated cells were irreversibly stopped dividing, exhibited positive staining to β-galactosidase as well as reduced CT-L and PGPH activities. In summary, these data reveal the fundamental role of the proteasome in the progression of replicative senescence and open new dimensions towards a better understanding of protein degradation.

ageing epoxomicin human fibroblasts MG132 proteasome inhibition senescence 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Hellenic Research Foundation, Institute of Biological Research and BiotechnologyAthensGreece

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