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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

USP19 is a ubiquitin-specific protease regulated in rat skeletal muscle during catabolic states.

Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis is activated in skeletal muscle atrophying in response to various catabolic stimuli. Previous studies have demonstrated activation of ubiquitin conjugation. Because ubiquitination can also be regulated by deubiquitinating enzymes, we used degenerate oligonucleotides derived from conserved sequences in the ubiquitin-specific protease ( UBP) family of deubiquitinating enzymes in RT-PCR with skeletal muscle RNA to amplify putative deubiquitinating enzymes. We identified USP19, a 150-kDa deubiquitinating enzyme that is widely expressed in various tissues including skeletal muscle. Expression of USP19 mRNA increased by approximately 30-200% in rat skeletal muscle atrophying in response to fasting, streptozotocin-induced diabetes, dexamethasone treatment, and cancer. Increased mRNA levels during fasting returned to normal with refeeding, but 1 day later than the normalization of rates of proteolysis and coincided instead with recovery of muscle mass. Indeed, in all catabolic treatments, USP19 mRNA was inversely correlated with muscle mass and provided an index of muscle mass that may be useful in many pathological conditions, using small human muscle biopsies. The increased expression of this deubiquitinating enzyme under conditions of increased proteolysis suggests that it may play a role in regeneration of free ubiquitin either coincident with or after proteasome-mediated degradation of substrates. USP19 may also be involved in posttranslational processing of polyubiquitin produced de novo in response to induction of the polyubiquitin genes seen under these conditions. Deubiquitinating enzymes thus appear involved in muscle wasting and implicate a widening web of regulation of genes in the ubiquitin system in this process.[1]


  1. USP19 is a ubiquitin-specific protease regulated in rat skeletal muscle during catabolic states. Combaret, L., Adegoke, O.A., Bedard, N., Baracos, V., Attaix, D., Wing, S.S. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. (2005) [Pubmed]
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