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Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jul 1;51(1):185-96. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.04.030. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Depletion of cytosolic or mitochondrial thioredoxin increases CYP2E1-induced oxidative stress via an ASK-1-JNK1 pathway in HepG2 cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Thioredoxin is an important reducing molecule in biological systems. Increasing CYP2E1 activity induces oxidative stress and cell toxicity. However, whether thioredoxin protects cells against CYP2E1-induced oxidative stress and toxicity is unknown. SiRNA were used to knockdown either cytosolic (TRX-1) or mitochondrial thioredoxin (TRX-2) in HepG2 cells expressing CYP2E1 (E47 cells) or without expressing CYP2E1 (C34 cells). Cell viability decreased 40-60% in E47 but not C34 cells with 80-90% knockdown of either TRX-1 or TRX-2. Depletion of either thioredoxin also potentiated the toxicity produced either by a glutathione synthesis inhibitor or by TNFα in E47 cells. Generation of reactive oxygen species and 4-HNE protein adducts increased in E47 but not C34 cells with either thioredoxin knockdown. GSH was decreased and adding GSH completely blocked E47 cell death induced by either thioredoxin knockdown. Lowering TRX-1 or TRX-2 in E47 cells caused an early activation of ASK-1, followed by phosphorylation of JNK1 after 48 h of siRNA treatment. A JNK inhibitor caused a partial recovery of E47 cell viability after thioredoxin knockdown. In conclusion, knockdown of TRX-1 or TRX-2 sensitizes cells to CYP2E1-induced oxidant stress partially via ASK-1 and JNK1 signaling pathways. Both TRX-1 and TRX-2 are important for defense against CYP2E1-induced oxidative stress.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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