Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Proteasome inhibitors induce auditory hair cell death through peroxisome dysfunction.

PMID 25446082


Even though bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, is a powerful chemotherapeutic agent used to treat multiple myeloma (MM) and other lymphoma cells, recent clinical reports suggest that the proteasome inhibitor therapy may be associated with severe bilateral hearing loss. We herein investigated the adverse effect of proteasome inhibitor on auditory hair cells. Treatment of a proteasome inhibitor destroys stereocilia bundles of hair cells resulting in the disarray of stereocilia in the organ of Corti explants. Since proteasome activity may be potentially important for biogenesis and function of the peroxisome, we tested whether proteasome activity is necessary for maintaining functional peroxisomes. Our results showed that treatment of a proteasome inhibitor significantly decreases both the number of peroxisomes and expression of peroxisomal proteins such as PMP70 and Catalase. In addition, we also found that proteasome inhibitor impairs the import pathway of PTS1-peroxisome matrix proteins. Taken together, our findings support recent clinical reports of hearing loss associated with proteasome inhibition. Mechanistically, peroxisome dysfunction may contribute to hair cell damage and hearing loss in response to the treatment of a proteasome inhibitor.