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Structure and functional analyses of the 26S proteasome subunits from plants.

Fu H., Girod P.-A., Doelling J.H., van Nocker S., Hochstrasser M., Finley D., Vierstra R.D.

As initial steps to define how the 26S proteasome degrades ubiquitinated proteins in plants, we have characterized many of the subunits that comprise the proteolytic complex from Arabidopsis thaliana. A set of 23 Arabidopsis genes encoding the full complement of core particle (CP) subunits and a collection encoding 12 out of 18 known eukaryotic regulatory particle (RP) subunits, including six AAA-ATPase subunits, were identified. Several of these 26S proteasome genes could complement yeast strains missing the corresponding orthologs. Using this ability of plant subunits to functionally replace yeast counterparts, a parallel structure/function analysis was performed with the RP subunit RPN 10/MCB1, a putative receptor for ubiquitin conjugates. RPN10 is not essential for yeast viability but is required for amino acid analog tolerance and degradation of proteins via the ubiquitin-fusion degradation pathway, a subpathway within the ubiquitin system. Surprisingly, we found that the C-terminal motif required for conjugate recognition by RPN10 is not essential for in vivo functions. Instead, a domain near the N-terminus is required. We have begun to exploit the moss Physcomitrella patens as a model to characterize the plant 26S proteasome using reverse genetics. By homologous recombination, we have successfully disrupted the RPN10 gene. Unlike yeast rpn10delta strains which grow normally, Physcomitrella rpn10delta strains are developmentally arrested, being unable to initiate gametophorogenesis. Further analysis of these mutants revealed that RPN10 is likely required for a developmental program triggered by plant hormones.

Mol. Biol. Rep. 26:137-146(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]