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J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr 20;282(16):11885-92. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

The high reactivity of peroxiredoxin 2 with H(2)O(2) is not reflected in its reaction with other oxidants and thiol reagents.

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Free Radical Research Group, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, P. O. Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Peroxiredoxin 2 is a member of the mammalian peroxiredoxin family of thiol proteins that is important in antioxidant defense and redox signaling. We have examined its reactivity with various biological oxidants, in order to assess its ability to act as a direct physiological target for these species. Human erythrocyte peroxiredoxin 2 was oxidized stoichiometrically to its disulfide-bonded homodimer by hydrogen peroxide, as monitored electrophoretically under nonreducing conditions. The protein was highly susceptible to oxidation by adventitious peroxide, which could be prevented by treating buffers with low concentrations of catalase. However, this did not protect peroxiredoxin 2 against oxidation by added H(2)O(2). Experiments measuring inhibition of dimerization indicated that at pH 7.4 catalase and peroxiredoxin 2 react with hydrogen peroxide at comparable rates. A rate constant of 1.3 x 10(7) M(-1) s(-1) for the peroxiredoxin reaction was obtained from competition kinetic studies with horseradish peroxidase. This is 100-fold faster than is generally assumed. It is sufficiently high for peroxiredoxin to be a favored cellular target for hydrogen peroxide, even in competition with catalase or glutathione peroxidase. Reactions of t-butyl and cumene hydroperoxides with peroxiredoxin were also fast, but amino acid chloramines reacted much more slowly. This contrasts with other thiol compounds that react many times faster with chloramines than with hydrogen peroxide. The alkylating agent iodoacetamide also reacted extremely slowly with peroxiredoxin 2. These results demonstrate that peroxiredoxin 2 has a tertiary structure that facilitates reaction of the active site thiol with hydrogen peroxide while restricting its reactivity with other thiol reagents.

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