An Inducible System for Rapid Degradation of Specific Cellular Proteins Using Proteasome Adaptors

PLoS One. 2016 Apr 4;11(4):e0152679. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152679. eCollection 2016.


A common way to study protein function is to deplete the protein of interest from cells and observe the response. Traditional methods involve disrupting gene expression but these techniques are only effective against newly synthesized proteins and leave previously existing and stable proteins untouched. Here, we introduce a technique that induces the rapid degradation of specific proteins in mammalian cells by shuttling the proteins to the proteasome for degradation in a ubiquitin-independent manner. We present two implementations of the system in human culture cells that can be used individually to control protein concentration. Our study presents a simple, robust, and flexible technology platform for manipulating intracellular protein levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / genetics
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism*
  • Proteolysis*
  • Ubiquitin / genetics
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*


  • Ubiquitin
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex