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J Biol Chem. 2013 Nov 8;288(45):32241-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.495150. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

Thioredoxin 1 is inactivated due to oxidation induced by peroxiredoxin under oxidative stress and reactivated by the glutaredoxin system.

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From the Division of Biochemistry, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.


The mammalian cytosolic thioredoxin system, comprising thioredoxin (Trx), Trx reductase, and NADPH, is the major protein-disulfide reductase of the cell and has numerous functions. Besides the active site thiols, human Trx1 contains three non-active site cysteine residues at positions 62, 69, and 73. A two-disulfide form of Trx1, containing an active site disulfide between Cys-32 and Cys-35 and a non-active site disulfide between Cys-62 and Cys-69, is inactive either as a disulfide reductase or as a substrate for Trx reductase. This could possibly provide a structural switch affecting Trx1 function during oxidative stress and redox signaling. We found that two-disulfide Trx1 was generated in A549 cells under oxidative stress. In vitro data showed that two-disulfide Trx1 was generated from oxidation of Trx1 catalyzed by peroxiredoxin 1 in the presence of H2O2. The redox Western blot data indicated that the glutaredoxin system protected Trx1 in HeLa cells from oxidation caused by ebselen, a superfast oxidant for Trx1. Our results also showed that physiological concentrations of glutathione, NADPH, and glutathione reductase reduced the non-active site disulfide in vitro. This reaction was stimulated by glutaredoxin 1 via the so-called monothiol mechanism. In conclusion, reversible oxidation of the non-active site disulfide of Trx1 is suggested to play an important role in redox regulation and cell signaling via temporal inhibition of its protein-disulfide reductase activity for the transmission of oxidative signals under oxidative stress.


Hydrogen Peroxide; Oxidative Stress; Peroxiredoxin; Redox Signaling; Thiol; Thioredoxin

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