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Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Apr;134:260-267. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.01.001. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Prx2 links ROS homeostasis to stemness of cancer stem cells.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea.
2
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Graduate School of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea.
3
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea; Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Graduate School of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea. Electronic address: hhjang@gachon.ac.kr.

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSC) with low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are resistant to conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Peroxiredoxin 2 (Prx2) is a redox regulatory protein that plays a key role in maintaining ROS homeostasis in the tumor microenvironment. However, despite the role of Prx2 in ROS-mediated signal transduction, the association of Prx2 with stemness via ROS in CSC has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, we investigated the link between Prx2 and CSC stemness through regulation of ROS levels in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. ROS induced CSC stemness reduction and downregulated stem cell markers in Huh7 and SK-HEP1 cells. Prx2 knockdown decreased CSC sphere formation and expression of stem cell makers with increasing intracellular ROS levels. This effect was reversed by the ROS scavengers NAC and GSH in Prx2 knockdown cells. Conversely, we found that Prx2 overexpression promotes CSC stemness and the peroxidase activity of Prx2 is essential for CSC stemness using peroxidase inactive mutant, Prx2C51/172S. More importantly, the hyperoxidation-resistant mutant (Prx2ΔYF), which has a constant ROS scavenging activity even at high concentrations of ROS, increased the CSC stemness and expression of stem cell markers more than Prx2WT under oxidative stress. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Prx2 links ROS homeostasis to CSC stemness; Prx2 is a mediator between ROS homeostasis and CSC stemness.

KEYWORDS:

CSCs; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Peroxidase activity; Prx2; Reactive oxygen species

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