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Science & Technology

Prominent Role of Proteasome Regulator PI31 in Protein Homeostasis, Synaptic Maintenance, and Neuronal Survival

By 5th February 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from The Rockefeller University, New York, USA. Study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal as detailed below.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 116(49): 24639-24650

The Proteasome Regulator PI31 is Required for Protein Homeostasis, Synapse Maintenance, and Neuronal Survival in Mice


The conserved proteasome-binding protein PI31 serves as an adapter to couple proteasomes with cellular motors to mediate their transport to distal tips of neurons where protein breakdown occurs. We generated global and conditional PI31 knockout mouse strains and show that this protein is required for protein homeostasis, and that its conditional inactivation in neurons disrupts synaptic structures and long-term survival. This work establishes a critical role for PI31 and local protein degradation in the maintenance of neuronal architecture, circuitry, and function. Because mutations in the PI31 pathway cause neurodegenerative diseases in humans, reduced PI31 activity may contribute to the etiology of these diseases.


Proteasome-mediated degradation of intracellular proteins is essential for cell function and survival. The proteasome-binding protein PI31 (Proteasomal Inhibitor of 31kD) promotes 26S assembly and functions as an adapter for proteasome transport in axons. As localized protein synthesis and degradation is especially critical in neurons, we generated a conditional loss of PI31 in spinal motor neurons (MNs) and cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). A cKO of PI31 in these neurons caused axon degeneration, neuronal loss, and progressive spinal and cerebellar neurological dysfunction. For both MNs and PCs, markers of proteotoxic stress preceded axonal degeneration and motor dysfunction, indicating a critical role for PI31 in neuronal homeostasis. The time course of the loss of MN and PC function in developing mouse central nervous system suggests a key role for PI31 in human neurodegenerative diseases.


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences



Minis, A., J. A. Rodriguez, et al. (2019). “The proteasome regulator PI31 is required for protein homeostasis, synapse maintenance, and neuronal survival in mice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(49): 24639-24650.