Proteomic analysis of the ubiquitin landscape in the Drosophila embryonic nervous system and the adult photoreceptor cells

Juanma Ramirez, Aitor Martinez, Benoit Lectez, So Young Lee, Maribel Franco, Rosa Barrio, Gunnar Dittmar, Ugo Mayor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ubiquitination is known to regulate physiological neuronal functions as well as to be involved in a number of neuronal diseases. Several ubiquitin proteomic approaches have been developed during the last decade but, as they have been mostly applied to non-neuronal cell culture, very little is yet known about neuronal ubiquitination pathways in vivo. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using an in vivo biotinylation strategy we have isolated and identified the ubiquitinated proteome in neurons both for the developing embryonic brain and for the adult eye of Drosophila melanogaster. Bioinformatic comparison of both datasets indicates a significant difference on the ubiquitin substrates, which logically correlates with the processes that are most active at each of the developmental stages. Detection within the isolated material of two ubiquitin E3 ligases, Parkin and Ube3a, indicates their ubiquitinating activity on the studied tissues. Further identification of the proteins that do accumulate upon interference with the proteasomal degradative pathway provides an indication of the proteins that are targeted for clearance in neurons. Last, we report the proof-of-principle validation of two lysine residues required for nSyb ubiquitination. Conclusions/Significance: These data cast light on the differential and common ubiquitination pathways between the embryonic and adult neurons, and hence will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms by which neuronal function is regulated. The in vivo biotinylation methodology described here complements other approaches for ubiquitome study and offers unique advantages, and is poised to provide further insight into disease mechanisms related to the ubiquitin proteasome system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0139083
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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