J Proteome Res. 2014 Feb 7;13(2):786-95. doi: 10.1021/pr4010597. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Overexpression of CD38 decreases cellular NAD levels and alters the expression of proteins involved in energy metabolism and antioxidant defense.

Hu Y1, Wang H, Wang Q, Deng H.

Author information

1MOE Key Laboratory of Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University , Beijing 100084, China.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme found in all living cells and mediates multiple cellular signaling pathways. In the present study, a 35% decrease of cellular NAD level is achieved by stable expression of the N-terminal truncated CD38, a NAD hydrolase. CD38-expressing (CD38(+)) cells have the lower growth rate and are more susceptive to oxidative stress than the wild type cells and empty vector-transfected (CD38(-)) cells. Quantitative proteomic analysis shows that 178 proteins are down-regulated in CD38(+) cells, which involve in diverse cellular processes including glycolysis, RNA processing and protein synthesis, antioxidant, and DNA repair. Down regulation of six selected proteins is confirmed by Western blotting. However, down-regulation of mRNA expressions of genes associated with glycolysis, antioxidant, and DNA repair is less significant than the corresponding change in protein expression, suggesting the low NAD level impairs the protein translational machinery in CD38(+) cells. Down-regulation of antioxidant protein and DNA-repair protein expression contributes to the susceptibility of CD38(+) cells to oxidative stress. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CD38(+) cells are a useful model to study effects of the cellular NAD levels on cellular processes and establish a new linker between cellular NAD levels and oxidative stress.