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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 15;94(8):3621-6.

The mechanism of thioredoxin reductase from human placenta is similar to the mechanisms of lipoamide dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase and is distinct from the mechanism of thioredoxin reductase from Escherichia coli.

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1
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48105, USA.

Abstract

Thioredoxin reductase, lipoamide dehydrogenase, and glutathione reductase are members of the pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase family of dimeric flavoenzymes. The mechanisms and structures of lipoamide dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase are alike irrespective of the source (subunit M(r) approximately 55,000). Although the mechanism and structure of thioredoxin reductase from Escherichia coli are distinct (M(r) approximately 35,000), this enzyme must be placed in the same family because there are significant amino acid sequence similarities with the other two enzymes, the presence of a redox-active disulfide, and the substrate specificities. Thioredoxin reductase from higher eukaryotes on the other hand has a M(r) of approximately 55,000 [Luthman, M. & Holmgren, A. (1982) Biochemistry 21, 6628-6633; Gasdaska, P. Y., Gasdaska, J. R., Cochran, S. & Powis, G. (1995) FEBS Lett 373, 5-9; Gladyshev, V. N., Jeang, K. T. & Stadtman, T.C. (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 6146-6151]. Thus, the evolution of this family is highly unusual. The mechanism of thioredoxin reductase from higher eukaryotes is not known. As reported here, thioredoxin reductase from human placenta reacts with only a single molecule of NADPH, which leads to a stable intermediate similar to that observed in titrations of lipoamide dehydrogenase or glutathione reductase. Titration of thioredoxin reductase from human placenta with dithionite takes place in two spectral phases: formation of a thiolate-flavin charge transfer complex followed by reduction of the flavin, just as with lipoamide dehydrogenase or glutathione reductase. The first phase requires more than one equivalent of dithionite. This suggests that the penultimate selenocysteine [Tamura, T. & Stadtman, T.C. (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 1006-1011] is in redox communication with the active site disulfide/dithiol. Nitrosoureas of the carmustine type inhibit only the NADPH reduced form of human thioredoxin reductase. These compounds are widely used as cytostatic agents, so this enzyme should be studied as a target in cancer chemotherapy. In conclusion, three lines of evidence indicate that the mechanism of human thioredoxin reductase is like the mechanisms of lipoamide dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase and differs fundamentally from the mechanism of E. coli thioredoxin reductase.

PMID:
9108027
PMCID:
PMC20490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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