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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005 Feb 1;434(1):26-32.

The extracellular microenvironment plays a key role in regulating the redox status of cell surface proteins in HIV-infected subjects.

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Herzenberg Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Beckman Center, B-007 Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94304-5318, USA.


There is an overwhelming interest in the study of the redox status of the cell surface affecting redox signaling in the cells and also predicting the total redox status of the cells. Measuring the total surface thiols (cell surface molecule thiols, csm-SH) we have shown that the overall level of surface thiols is tightly controlled. In vitro, the total concentration of intracellular glutathione (iGSH) seems to play a regulatory role in determination of the amounts of reduced proteins on cells. In addition, short term exposure of the cell surface to glutathione disulfide (GSSG, oxidized GSH) seems to reduce the overall levels of csm-SH suggesting that the function of some cysteine containing proteins on the cell surface may be regulated by the amount of GSSG secreted from the cells or the GSSG available in the extracellular environment. Examination of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy or HIV-infected subjects failed to reveal a similar correlation between the intra- and extracellular thiol status of cells. Although there is a relatively wide variation between individuals in both csm-SH and iGSH there is no correlation between the iGSH and csm-SH levels measured for healthy and HIV-infected individuals. There are many reports suggesting different redox active proteins on the cell surface to be the key players in the total cell surface redox regulation. However, we suggest that the redox status of the cells is regulated through a complex and tightly regulated mechanism that needs further investigation. In the mean time, overall surface thiol measurements together with case specific protein determinations may offer the most informative approach. In this review, we discuss our own results as well as results from other laboratories to argue that the overall levels of surface thiols on the exofacial membrane are regulated primarily by redox status of the cell surface microenvironment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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