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Precoce and opposite response of proteasome activity after acute or chronic exposure of C. elegans to γ-radiation

Scitific Reports 8, article n° 11349 (2018)​

Summary

​Species are chronically exposed to ionizing radiation, a natural phenomenon which can be enhanced by human activities. The induced toxicity mechanisms still remain unclear and seem depending on the mode of exposure, i.e. acute and chronic. To better understand these phenomena, studies need to be conducted both at the subcellular and individual levels. Proteins, functional molecules in organisms, are the targets of oxidative damage (especially via their carbonylation (PC)) and are likely to be relevant biomarkers. After exposure of Caenorhabditis elegans to either chronic or acute γ rays we showed that hatching success is impacted after acute but not after chronic irradiation. At the molecular level, the carbonylated protein level in relation with dose was slightly different between acute and chronic exposure whereas the proteolytic activity is drastically modified. Indeed, whereas the 20S proteasome activity is inhibited by acute irradiation from 0.5 Gy, it is activated after chronic irradiation from 1 Gy. As expected, the 20S proteasome activity is mainly modified by irradiation whereas the 26S and 30S activity are less changed. This study provides preliminaries clues to understand the role of protein oxidation and proteolytic activity in the radiation-induced molecular mechanisms after chronic versus acute irradiation in C. elegans.

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