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F1000Res. 2017 Apr 10;6:455. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11296.1. eCollection 2017.

Cell signaling promoting protein carbonylation does not cause sulfhydryl oxidation: Implications to the mechanism of redox signaling.

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Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, 20057, USA.
Department of Biochemical Sciences "A. Rossi Fanelli", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized as second messengers, however, targeting mechanisms for ROS in cell signaling have not been defined. While ROS oxidizing protein cysteine thiols has been the most popular proposed mechanism, our laboratory proposed that ligand/receptor-mediated cell signaling involves protein carbonylation. Peroxiredoxin-6 (Prx6) is one protein that is carbonylated at 10 min after the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. In the present study, the SulfoBiotics Protein Redox State Monitoring Kit Plus (Dojindo Molecular Technologies) was used to test if cysteine residues of Prx6 are oxidized in response to the PDGF stimulation. Human Prx6 has a molecular weight of 25 kDa and contains two cysteine residues. The Dojindo system adds the 15 kDa Protein-SHifter if these cysteine residues are reduced in the cells. Results showed that, in untreated cells, the Prx6 molecule predominantly exhibited the 55 kDa band, indicating that both cysteine residues are reduced in the cells. Treatment of cells with 1 mM H 2O 2 caused the disappearance of the 55 kDa band and the appearance of a 40 kDa band, suggesting that the high concentration of H 2O 2 oxidized one of the two cysteine residues in the Prx6 molecule. By contrast, PDGF stimulation had no effects on the thiol status of the Prx6 molecule. We concluded that protein carbonylation is a more sensitive target of ROS during ligand/receptor-mediated cell signaling than sulfhydryl oxidation.


cell signaling; protein oxidation; reactive oxygen species; redox signaling

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.

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