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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jul 27;282(30):22011-22. Epub 2007 May 22.

Human peroxiredoxin 1 and 2 are not duplicate proteins: the unique presence of CYS83 in Prx1 underscores the structural and functional differences between Prx1 and Prx2.

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Department of Cell Stress Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


Human peroxiredoxins 1 and 2, also known as Prx1 and Prx2, are more than 90% homologous in their amino acid sequences. Prx1 and Prx2 are elevated in various cancers and are shown to influence diverse cellular processes. Although their growth regulatory role has traditionally been attributed to the peroxidase activity, the physiological significance of this function is unclear because the proteins are highly susceptible to inactivation by H(2)O(2). A chaperone activity appears to emerge when their peroxidase activity is lost. Structural studies suggest that they may form a homodimer or doughnut-shaped homodecamer. However, little information is available whether human Prx1 and Prx2 are duplicative in structure and function. We noted that Prx1 contains a cysteine (Cys(83)) at the putative dimer-dimer interface, which is absent in Prx2. We studied the role of Cys(83) in regulating the peroxidase and chaperone activities of Prx1, because the redox status of Cys(83) might influence the oligomeric structure and consequently the functions of Prx1. We show that Prx1 is more efficient as a molecular chaperone, whereas Prx2 is better suited as a peroxidase enzyme. Substituting Cys(83) with Ser(83) (Prx1C83S) results in dramatic changes in the structural and functional characteristics of Prx1 in a direction similar to those of Prx2. Here we also report the first crystal structure of human Prx1 and the presence of the Cys(83)-Cys(83) bond at the dimer-dimer interface of decameric Prx1. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that human Prx1 and Prx2 possess unique functions and regulatory mechanisms and that Cys(83) bestows a distinctive identity to Prx1.

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