Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

An inhibitor of the proteasomal deubiquitinating enzyme USP14 induces tau elimination in cultured neurons.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is responsible for most selective protein degradation in eukaryotes and regulates numerous cellular processes, including cell cycle control and protein quality control. A component of this system, the deubiquitinating enzyme USP14, associates with the proteasome where it can rescue substrates from degradation by removal of the ubiquitin tag. We previously found that a small-molecule inhibitor of USP14, known as IU1, can increase the rate of degradation of a subset of proteasome substrates. We report here the synthesis and characterization of 87 variants of IU1, which resulted in the identification of a 10-fold more potent USP14 inhibitor that retains specificity for USP14. The capacity of this compound, IU1-47, to enhance protein degradation in cells was tested using as a reporter the microtubule-associated protein tau, which has been implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases. Using primary neuronal cultures, IU1-47 was found to accelerate the rate of degradation of wild-type tau, the pathological tau mutants P301L and P301S, and the A152T tau variant. We also report that a specific residue in tau, lysine 174, is critical for the IU1-47-mediated tau degradation by the proteasome. Finally, we show that IU1-47 stimulates autophagic flux in primary neurons. In summary, these findings provide a powerful research tool for investigating the complex biology of USP14.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item