Molecular and Cellular Proteomics

The effect of proteasome inhibition on the generation of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) peptidome

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The Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I peptidome is thought to be generated mostly through proteasomal degradation of cellular proteins, a notion that is based on the alterations in presentation of selected peptides following proteasome inhibition. We evaluated the effects of proteasome inhibitors, epoxomicin and bortezomib, on human cultured cancer cells. Because the inhibitors did not reduce the level of presentation of the cell surface human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules, we followed their effects on the rates of synthesis of both HLA peptidome and proteome of the cells, using dynamic stable isotope labeling in tissue culture (dynamic-SILAC). The inhibitors reduced the rates of synthesis of most cellular proteins and HLA peptides, yet the synthesis rates of some of the proteins and HLA peptides was not decreased by the inhibitors and of some even increased. Therefore, we concluded that the inhibitors affected the production of the HLA peptidome in a complex manner, including modulation of the synthesis rates of the source proteins of the HLA peptides, in addition to their effect on their degradation. The collected data may suggest that the current reliance on proteasome inhibition may over-estimate the centrality of the proteasome in the generation of the MHC peptidome. It is therefore suggested that the relative contribution of the proteasomal and non-proteasomal pathways to the production of the MHC peptidome should be revaluated in accordance with the inhibitors effects on the synthesis rates of the source proteins of the MHC peptides. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.