N Yim, S-W Ryu, EC Han, J Yoon, K Choi, C Choi
Journal name: 
PLoS One
Citation info: 
Mutant ubiquitin UBB+1 is observed in a variety of aging-related neurodegenerative diseases and acts as a potent inhibitor of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). In the present study, we investigated the relationship between impaired UPS (using ectopic expression of UBB+1) and mitochondrial dynamics in astrocytes, which are the most abundant glial cells in the central nervous system. Immunocytochemistry and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching revealed that ectopic expression of UBB+1 induced mitochondrial elongation. We further demonstrated that overexpression of UBB+1 destabilized mitochondrial fission-specific proteins including Drp1, Fis1, and OPA3, but not the mitochondrial fusion-specific proteins Mfn1, Mfn2, and OPA1. The reduction in mitochondrial fission-specific proteins by UBB+1 was prevented by inhibiting the 26 S proteasome using chemical inhibitors, including MG132, lactacystin and epoxomicin. We then assessed the involvement of proteases that target mitochondrial proteins by using various protease inhibitors. Finally, we confirmed that either overexpression of UBB+1 or inhibiting the proteasome can protect astrocytic cells from H2O2-induced cell death compared with control cells. Our results suggest that UBB+1 destabilizes mitochondrial fission-specific proteins, leading to mitochondrial fusion and the subsequent resistance to oxidative stress. We therefore propose a protective role of UBB+1 overexpression or the proteasome inhibition in astrocytes in degenerative brains.
E-pub date: 
01 Aug 2014
Users with this publication listed: 
Jonghee Yoon