We report that subunits of human nuclear proteasomes carry a previously unrecognised, constitutive posttranslational modification. Subunits with this modification are not visualised by SDS-PAGE, which is used in almost all denaturing protein gel electrophoresis. In contrast, CTAB-PAGE readily visualises such modified subunits. Thus, under most experimental conditions, with identical samples, SDS-PAGE yielded gel electrophoresis patterns for subunits of nuclear proteasomes which were misleading and strikingly different from those obtained with CTAB-PAGE. Initial analysis indicates a novel modification of a high negative charge with some similarity to polyADP-ribose, possibly explaining compatibility with (positively-charged) CTAB-PAGE but not (negatively-charged) SDS-PAGE and providing a mechanism for how nuclear proteasomes may interact with chromatin, DNA and other nuclear components.
Keywords: ADP-ribose; Apoptosis; CTAB-PAGE; Nuclear biology; Proteasome; Ubiquitin.
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