Proteasome mapping reveals sexual dimorphism in tissue-specific sensitivity to protein aggregations

Edmund Charles Jenkins, Nagma Shah, Maria Gomez, Gabriella Casalena, Dazhi Zhao, Timothy C. Kenny, Sara Rose Guariglia, Giovanni Manfredi, Doris Germain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Defects in the proteasome can result in pathological proteinopathies. However, the pathogenic role of sex- and tissue-specific sensitivity to proteotoxic stress remains elusive. Here, we map the proteasome activity across nine tissues, in male and female mice, and demonstrate strong sexual dimorphism in proteasome activity, where females have significantly higher activity in several tissues. Further, we report drastic differences in proteasome activity among tissues, independently of proteasome concentration, which are exacerbated under stress conditions. Sexual dimorphism in proteasome activity is confirmed in a SOD1 ALS mouse model, in which the spinal cord, a tissue with comparatively low proteasome activity, is severely affected. Our results offer mechanistic insight into tissue-specific sensitivities to proteostasis stress and into sex differences in the progression of neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48978
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2020


  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • gender differences
  • proteasome
  • protein aggregates
  • ubiquitin


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