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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 4;280(9):8371-80. Epub 2004 Dec 28.

Identification and characterization of a novel thioredoxin-related transmembrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich, Z├╝rich CH-8093, Switzerland.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contains a number of thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases of the protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI) family that catalyze the formation of disulfide bonds in newly synthesized proteins. Here we describe the identification and characterization of a novel member of the human PDI family, TMX3 (thioredoxin-related transmembrane protein 3). The TMX3 gene encodes a protein of 454 amino acid residues that contains a predicted N-terminal signal sequence, a single domain with sequence similarity to thioredoxin and a CGHC active site sequence, a potential transmembrane domain, and a C-terminal KKKD tetrapeptide sequence that matches the classical KKXX-type consensus sequence for ER retrieval of type I transmembrane proteins. Endogenous TMX3 contains endoglycosidase H-sensitive glycans, localizes to the ER by immunofluorescence microscopy, and is present in the membrane fraction after alkaline extraction of the ER luminal content. The TMX3 transcript is found in a variety of tissues and is not up-regulated by the unfolded protein response. Circular dichroism spectroscopy of the recombinantly expressed luminal domain of TMX3 showed features typical of a properly folded protein of the alpha/beta type. The redox potential of recombinant luminal TMX3 was determined to -0.157 V, similar to the values previously found for PDI and ERp57. Interestingly, TMX3 showed oxidase activity, and in human tissue-culture cells the protein was found partially in the oxidized form, potentially suggesting a function of the protein as a dithiol oxidase.

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