Oxidative stress can impair proteasome function, both of which are features of neurodegenerative diseases. Inhibition of proteasome function leads to protein accumulation and cell death. We discovered recently the formation of highly reactive g-ketoaldehydes, isoketals (IsoKs), and neuroketals (NeuroKs) as products of the isoprostane and neuroprostane pathways of free radical-induced lipid peroxidation that are analogous to cyclooxygenase-derived levuglandins (LGs). Because aldehydes that are much less reactive than IsoKs have been shown to inhibit proteasome function, we explored the ability of the proteasome to degrade IsoK-adducted proteins/peptides and the effect of IsoK and IsoK-adducted proteins/peptides on proteasome function. Adduction of IsoK to model proteasome substrates significantly reduced their rate of degradation by the 20S proteasome. The ability of IsoK to inhibit proteasome function directly was observed only at very high concentrations. However, at much lower concentrations, an IsoK-adducted protein (ovalbumin) and peptide (Ab1-40) significantly inhibited chymotrypsin-like activity of the 20S proteasome. Moreover, incubation of IsoK with P19 neuroglial cultures dose-dependently inhibited proteasome activity (IC50 = 330 nM) and induced cell death (LC50 = 670 nM). These findings suggest that IsoKs/NeuroKs/LGs can inhibit proteasome activity and, if overproduced, may have relevance to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.