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The N-end rule pathway catalyzes a major fraction of the protein degradation in skeletal muscleIn skeletal muscle, overall protein degradation involves the ubiquitin-proteasome system. One property of a protein that leads to rapid ubiquitin-dependent degradation is the presence of a basic, acidic, or bulky hydrophobic residue at its N terminus. However, in normal cells, substrates for this N-end rule pathway, which involves ubiquitin carrier protein (E2) E214k and ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3) E3alpha, have remained unclear. Surprisingly, in soluble extracts of rabbit muscle, we found that competitive inhibitors of E3alpha markedly inhibited the 125I-ubiquitin conjugation and ATP-dependent degradation of endogenous proteins. These inhibitors appear to selectively inhibit E3alpha, since they blocked degradation of 125I-lysozyme, a model N-end rule substrate, but did not affect the degradation of proteins whose ubiquitination involved other E3s. The addition of several E2s or E3alpha to the muscle extracts stimulated overall proteolysis and ubiquitination, but only the stimulation by E3alpha or E214k was sensitive to these inhibitors. A similar general inhibition of ubiquitin conjugation to endogenous proteins was observed with a dominant negative inhibitor of E214k. Certain substrates of the N-end rule pathway are degraded after their tRNA-dependent arginylation. We found that adding RNase A to muscle extracts reduced the ATP-dependent proteolysis of endogenous proteins, and supplying tRNA partially restored this process. Finally, although in muscle extracts the N-end rule pathway catalyzes most ubiquitin conjugation, it makes only a minor contribution to overall protein ubiquitination in HeLa cell extracts.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Solomon, V.
(Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States)
Lecker, S. H.
Goldberg, A. L.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
September 25, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: The Journal of biological chemistry
Volume: 273
Issue: 39
ISSN: 0021-9258
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Musculoskeletal
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