Ubiquitin-proteasome system in diabetic retinopathy

Zane Svikle, Beate Peterfelde, Nikolajs Sjakste, Kristine Baumane, Rasa Verkauskiene, Chi Juei Jeng, Jelizaveta Sokolovska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common complication of diabetes, being the most prevalent reason for blindness among the working-age population in the developed world. Despite constant improvement of understanding of the pathogenesis of DR, identification of novel biomarkers of DR is needed for improvement of patient risk stratification and development of novel prevention and therapeutic approaches. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is the primary protein quality control system responsible for recognizing and degrading of damaged proteins. This review aims to summarize literature data on modifications of UPS in diabetes and DR. First, we briefly review the structure and functions of UPS in physiological conditions. We then describe how UPS is involved in the development and progression of diabetes and touch upon the association of UPS genetic factors with diabetes and its complications. Further, we focused on the effect of diabetes-induced hyperglycemia, oxidative stress and hypoxia on UPS functioning, with examples of studies on DR. In other sections, we discussed the association of several other mechanisms of DR (endoplasmic reticulum stress, neurodegeneration etc) with UPS modifications. Finally, UPS-affecting drugs and remedies are reviewed. This review highlights UPS as a promising target for the development of therapies for DR prevention and treatment and identifies gaps in existing knowledge and possible future study directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13715
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Retinopathy
  • Ubiquitin-proteasome system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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