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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jul 8;280(27):25305-12. Epub 2005 May 9.

Glutathione redox state regulates mitochondrial reactive oxygen production.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health and Center for Environmental Genetics, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, P. O. Box 670056, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0056, USA.


Oxidative stress induced by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD; dioxin) is poorly understood. Following one dose of TCDD (5 microg/kg body weight), mitochondrial succinate-dependent production of superoxide and H2O2 in mouse liver doubled at 7-28 days, then subsided by day 56; concomitantly, levels of GSH and GSSG increased in both cytosol and mitochondria. Cytosol displayed a typical oxidative stress response, consisting of diminished GSH relative to GSSG, decreased potential to reduce protein-SSG mixed disulfide bonds (type 1 thiol redox switch) or protein-SS-protein disulfide bonds (type 2 thiol redox switch), and a +10 mV change in GSSG/2GSH reduction potential. In contrast, mitochondria showed a rise in reduction state, consisting of increased GSH relative to GSSG, increases in type 1 and type 2 thiol redox switches, and a -25 mV change in GSSG/2GSH reduction potential. Comparing Ahr(-/-) knock-out and wild-type mice, we found that TCDD-induced thiol changes in both cytosol and mitochondria were dependent on the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). GSH was rapidly taken up by mitochondria and stimulated succinate-dependent H2O2 production. A linear dependence of H2O2 production on the reduction potential for GSSG/2GSH exists between -150 and -300 mV. The TCDD-stimulated increase in succinate-dependent and thiol-stimulated production of reactive oxygen paralleled a four-fold increase in formamidopyrimidine DNA N-glycosylase (FPG)-sensitive cleavage sites in mitochondrial DNA, compared with a two-fold increase in nuclear DNA. These results suggest that TCDD produces an AHR-dependent oxidative stress in mitochondria, with concomitant mitochondrial DNA damage mediated, at least in part, by an increase in the mitochondrial thiol reduction state.

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