Long-term proteasome dysfunction in the mouse brain by expression of aberrant ubiquitin

David F Fischer, Renske van Dijk, Paula van Tijn, Barbara Hobo, Marian C Verhage, Roel C van der Schors, Ka Wan Li, Jan van Minnen, Elly M Hol, Fred W van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by deposits of ubiquitinated and aberrant proteins, suggesting a failure of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). The aberrant ubiquitin UBB(+1) is one of the ubiquitinated proteins accumulating in tauopathies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and polyglutamine diseases such as Huntington's disease. We have generated UBB(+1) transgenic mouse lines with post-natal neuronal expression of UBB(+1), resulting in increased levels of ubiquitinated proteins in the cortex. Moreover, by proteomic analysis, we identified expression changes in proteins involved in energy metabolism or organization of the cytoskeleton. These changes show a striking resemblance to the proteomic profiles of both AD brain and several AD mouse models. Moreover, UBB(+1) transgenic mice show a deficit in contextual memory in both water maze and fear conditioning paradigms. Although UBB(+1) partially inhibits the UPS in the cortex, these mice do not have an overt neurological phenotype. These mouse models do not replicate the full spectrum of AD-related changes, yet provide a tool to understand how the UPS is involved in AD pathological changes and in memory formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-63
Number of pages17
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Proteome
  • Ubiquitin
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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