Induction of protein catabolism and the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway by mild oxidative stress

Maria Cristina C. Gomes-Marcondes, Michael J. Tisdale*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Muscle wasting in cancer cachexia is associated with increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in gastrocnemius muscles, suggesting an increased oxidative stress. To determine whether oxidative stress contributes to muscle protein catabolism, an in vitro model system, consisting of C2C12 myotubes, was treated with either 0.2 mM FeSO4, 0.1 mM H2O2, or both, to replicate the rise in MDA content in cachexia. All treatments caused an increased protein catabolism and a decreased myosin expression. There was an increase in the proteasome chymotrypsin-like enzyme activity, while immunoblotting showed an increased expression of the 20S proteasome α-subunits, p42, and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E214k. These results show that mild oxidative stress increases protein degradation in skeletal muscle by causing an increased expression of the major components of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2002


  • oxidative stress
  • proteasome expression
  • proteolysis


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