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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 11;278(28):25919-25. Epub 2003 Apr 21.

Tryparedoxins from Crithidia fasciculata and Trypanosoma brucei: photoreduction of the redox disulfide using synchrotron radiation and evidence for a conformational switch implicated in function.

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Division of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Tryparedoxin (TryX) is a member of the thioredoxin (TrX) fold family involved in the regulation of oxidative stress in parasitic trypanosomatids. Like TrX, TryX carries a characteristic Trp-Cys-Xaa-Xaa-Cys motif, which positions a redox-active disulfide underneath a tryptophan lid. We report the structure of a Crithidia fasciculata tryparedoxin isoform (CfTryX2) in two crystal forms and compare them with structures determined previously. Efforts to chemically generate crystals of reduced TryX1 were unsuccessful, and we carried out a novel experiment to break the redox-active disulfide, formed between Cys-40 and Cys-43, utilizing the intense x-radiation from a third generation synchrotron undulator beamline. A time course study of the S-S bond cleavage is reported with the structure of a TryX1 C43A mutant as the control. When freed from the constraints of a disulfide link to Cys-43, Cys-40 pivots to become slightly more solvent-accessible. In addition, we have determined the structure of Trypanosoma brucei TryX, which, influenced by the molecular packing in the crystal lattice, displays a significantly different orientation of the active site tryptophan lid. This structural change may be of functional significance when TryX interacts with tryparedoxin peroxidase, the final protein in the trypanothione-dependent peroxidase pathway. Comparisons with chloroplast TrX and its substrate fructose 1,6-bisphosphate phosphatase suggest that this movement may represent a general feature of redox regulation in the trypanothione and thioredoxin peroxidase pathways.

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