MG132 inhibition of proteasome blocks apoptosis induced by severe DNA damage

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15 Scopus citations


The 26S proteasome, a multicatalytic enzyme complex, is the main intracellular proteolytic system involved in the degradation of ubiquitinated proteins. The ability of proteasome inhibitors to induce apoptosis has been exploited in the recent development of chemotherapeutic agents. Here, we show that inhibition of proteasome by MG132 blocks DNA damage-induced apoptosis. Blockage of apoptosis by MG132 correlates with p53 stabilization and upregulation of p21/WAF1, a p53 transcriptional target. Surprisingly, in the absence of MG132, robust apoptosis induced by a high dose of UV irradiation correlate with rapid p53 degradation. This is in sharp contrast to p53 stabilization when cells were exposed to lower levels of UV irradiation. Our findings highlight a scenario in which severe UV damage can induce rapid p53 degradation by the proteasome. Importantly, these data suggest that the 26S proteasome plays a key role in promoting apoptosis induced by high doses of UV irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3515-3518
Number of pages4
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 31 2011


  • Apoptosis
  • DNA damage
  • MG132
  • p53
  • Proteasome
  • UV irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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