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Biochem J. 2001 Aug 1;357(Pt 3):851-8.

Selenium regulation of transcript abundance and translational efficiency of glutathione peroxidase-1 and -4 in rat liver.

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Department of Biochemistry, 217 Gwynn Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


Glutathione peroxidase (GPX)1 mRNA in rat liver falls dramatically during Se deficiency to levels that are approx. 10% of Se-adequate levels. This regulation is mediated by mRNA stability, and is hypothesized to involve nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. mRNA levels for GPX4 and other selenoproteins are much less regulated by Se status. To evaluate the relative contribution of mRNA abundance versus translational efficiency to overall regulation of GPX1 expression, we quantified GPX1, GPX4 and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) transcripts per cell in rat liver. Surprisingly, we found that GPX1 transcripts in Se deficiency are moderately abundant and similar in abundance to GAPDH and other selenoprotein mRNAs; Se supplementation increases GPX1 mRNA so that it is 30-fold higher than GAPDH mRNA. Translational efficiency of GPX1 mRNA is half of that of GPX4. Translational efficiency of GPX1 mRNA increases approx. 20-fold with Se supplementation and appears to switch GPX1 mRNA from nonsense-mediated degradation to translation. This regulatory switch can explain why GPX1 expression is an excellent parameter for assessment of Se status.

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