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Biochemistry. 2011 Apr 19;50(15):3204-10. doi: 10.1021/bi101373h. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Glutathionylation of peroxiredoxin I induces decamer to dimers dissociation with concomitant loss of chaperone activity.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biochemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8012, United States.


Reversible protein glutathionylation, a redox-sensitive regulatory mechanism, plays a key role in cellular regulation and cell signaling. Peroxiredoxins (Prxs), a family of peroxidases that is involved in removing H(2)O(2) and organic hydroperoxides, are known to undergo a functional change from peroxidase to molecular chaperone upon overoxidation of its catalytic cysteine. The functional change is caused by a structural change from low molecular weight oligomers to high molecular weight complexes that possess molecular chaperone activity. We reported earlier that Prx I can be glutathionylated at three of its cysteine residues, Cys52, -83, and -173 [Park et al. (2009) J. Biol. Chem., 284, 23364]. In this study, using analytical ultracentrifugation analysis, we reveal that glutathionylation of Prx I, WT, or its C52S/C173S double mutant shifted its oligomeric status from decamers to a population consisting mainly of dimers. Cys83 is localized at the putative dimer-dimer interface, implying that the redox status of Cys83 may play an important role in stabilizing the oligomeric state of Prx I. Studies with the Prx I (C83S) mutant show that while Cys83 is not essential for the formation of high molecular weight complexes, it affects the dimer-decamer equilibrium. Glutathionylation of the C83S mutant leads to accumulation of dimers and monomers. In addition, glutathionylation of Prx I, both the WT and C52S/C173S mutants, greatly reduces their molecular chaperone activity in protecting citrate synthase from thermally induced aggregation. Together, these results reveal that glutathionylation of Prx I promotes changes in its quaternary structure from decamers to smaller oligomers and concomitantly inactivates its molecular chaperone function.

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