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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 19, 1994; 91(15): 7017–7021.

Cloning and sequencing of thiol-specific antioxidant from mammalian brain: alkyl hydroperoxide reductase and thiol-specific antioxidant define a large family of antioxidant enzymes.


A cDNA corresponding to a thiol-specific antioxidant enzyme (TSA) was isolated from a rat brain cDNA library with the use of antibodies to bovine TSA. The cDNA clone encoded an open reading frame capable of encoding a 198-residue polypeptide. The rat and yeast TSA proteins show significant sequence homology to the 21-kDa component (AhpC) of Salmonella typhimurium alkyl hydroperoxide reductase, and we have found that AhpC exhibits TSA activity. AhpC and TSA define a family of > 25 different proteins present in organisms from all kingdoms. The similarity among the family members extends over the entire sequence and ranges between 23% and 98% identity. A majority of the members of the AhpC/TSA family contain two conserved cysteines. At least eight of the genes encoding AhpC/TSA-like polypeptides are found in proximity to genes encoding other oxidoreductase activities, and the expression of several of the homologs has been correlated with pathogenicity. We suggest that the AhpC/TSA family represents a widely distributed class of antioxidant enzymes. We also report that a second family of proteins, defined by the 57-kDa component (AhpF) of alkyl hydroperoxide reductase and by thioredoxin reductase, has expanded to include six additional members.

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