Overexpression of Dsk2/dUbqln results in severe developmental defects and lethality inDrosophilamelanogasterthat can be rescued by overexpression of the p54/Rpn10/S5a proteasomal subunit

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Polyubiquitin receptors execute the targeting of polyubiquitylated proteins to the 26S proteasome. In vitro studies indicate that disturbance of the physiological balance among different receptor proteins impairs the proteasomal degradation of polyubiquitylated proteins. To study the physiological consequences of shifting the in vivo equilibrium between the p54/Rpn10 proteasomal and the Dsk2/dUbqln extraproteasomal polyubiquitin receptors, transgenic Drosophila lines were constructed in which the overexpression or RNA interference–mediated silencing of these receptors can be induced. Flies overexpressing Flag–p54 were viable and fertile, without any detectable morphological abnormalities, although detectable accumulation of polyubiquitylated proteins demonstrated a certain level of proteolytic disturbance. Flag–p54 was assembled into the 26S proteasome and could fully complement the lethal phenotype of a p54 null mutant Drosophila line. The overexpression of Dsk2 caused severe morphological abnormalities in the late pupal stages, leading to pharate adult lethality, accompanied by a huge accumulation of highly polyubiquitylated proteins. The lethal phenotype of Dsk2 overexpression could be rescued in a double transgenic line coexpressing Flag–Dsk2 and Flag–p54. Although the double transgenic line was viable and fertile, it did not restore the proteolytic defects; the accumulation of the highly polyubiquitylated proteins was even more severe in the double transgenic line. Significant differences were found in the Dsk2–26S proteasome interaction in Drosophilamelanogaster as compared with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In yeast, Dsk2 can interact only with ΔRpn10 proteasomes and not with the wild–type one. In Drosophila, Dsk2 does not interact with Δp54 proteasomes, but the interaction can be fully restored by complementing the Δp54 deletion with Flag–p54.

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