Interspecies Differences in Proteome Turnover Kinetics Are Correlated With Life Spans and Energetic Demands

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021;20:100041. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA120.002301. Epub 2021 Jan 7.


Cells continually degrade and replace damaged proteins. However, the high energetic demand of protein turnover generates reactive oxygen species that compromise the long-term health of the proteome. Thus, the relationship between aging, protein turnover, and energetic demand remains unclear. Here, we used a proteomic approach to measure rates of protein turnover within primary fibroblasts isolated from a number of species with diverse life spans including the longest-lived mammal, the bowhead whale. We show that organismal life span is negatively correlated with turnover rates of highly abundant proteins. In comparison with mice, cells from long-lived naked mole rats have slower rates of protein turnover, lower levels of ATP production, and reduced reactive oxygen species levels. Despite having slower rates of protein turnover, naked mole rat cells tolerate protein misfolding stress more effectively than mouse cells. We suggest that in lieu of a rapid constitutive turnover, long-lived species may have evolved more energetically efficient mechanisms for selective detection and clearance of damaged proteins.

Keywords: Protein turnove; aging; protein degradation; proteostasis; quantitative proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Light
  • Longevity
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Proteome*
  • Proteomics
  • Radioisotopes
  • Species Specificity


  • Amino Acids
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Proteome
  • Radioisotopes