A ubiquitin-proteasome system is responsible for the protection of yeast and human cells against methylmercury.

Gi Wook Hwang, Takemitsu Furuchi, Akira Naganuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mechanism responsible for the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), an important environmental pollutant, is poorly understood. We have identified a gene, CDC34, that confers resistance to MeHg in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by screening a yeast genomic DNA library. CDC34 encodes a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, Cdc34, which is involved in ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Overexpression of Cdc34 results in significant resistance to MeHg both in yeast and human cells, and it increases the cellular level of ubiquitinated proteins. The ubiquitin-conjugating activity of Cdc34 is essential for the Cdc34-mediated resistance to MeHg, and the protective effect of the overexpression of Cdc34 is depressed by inhibition of proteasome activity. Our results support the hypothesis that MeHg induces the cellular accumulation of a certain protein(s) that causes cell damage and that this protein(s) is degraded after its ubiquitination in proteasomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-711
Number of pages3
JournalThe FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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