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Functional Interplay between Mitochondrial and Proteasome Activity in Skin Aging

By Rafał Kozieł, Ruth Greussing, Andrea B. Maier, Lieve Declercq and Pidder Jansen-Dürr


According to the mitochondrial theory of aging, reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived primarily from mitochondria cause cumulative oxidative damage to various cellular molecules and thereby contribute to the aging process. On the other hand, a pivotal role of the proteasome, as a main proteolytic system implicated in the degradation of oxidized proteins during aging, is suggested. In this study, we analyzed mitochondrial function in dermal fibroblasts derived from biopsies obtained from healthy young, middle-aged, and old donors. We also determined proteasome activity in these cells, using a degron–destabilized green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based reporter protein. We found a significant decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential in samples from aged donors, accompanied by a significant increase in ROS levels. Respiratory activity was not significantly altered with donor age, probably reflecting genetic variation. Proteasome activity was significantly decreased in fibroblasts from middle-aged donors compared with young donors; fibroblasts derived from the oldest donors displayed a high heterogeneity in this assay. We also found intraindividual coregulation of mitochondrial and proteasomal activities in all human fibroblast strains tested, suggesting that both systems are interdependent. Accordingly, pharmacological inhibition of the proteasome led to decreased mitochondrial function, whereas inhibition of mitochondrial function in turn reduced proteasome activity

Publisher: The Society for Investigative Dermatology, Inc.
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1038/jid.2010.383
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