Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 1997 Sep 5;272(36):22607-10.

Reduction of dehydroascorbate to ascorbate by the selenoenzyme thioredoxin reductase.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-6303, USA.


Recycling of ascorbate from its oxidized forms is essential to maintain stores of the vitamin in human cells. Whereas reduction of dehydroascorbate to ascorbate is thought to be largely GSH-dependent, we reconsidered the possibility that the selenium-dependent thioredoxin system might contribute to ascorbate regeneration. We found that purified rat liver thioredoxin reductase functions as an NADPH-dependent dehydroascorbate reductase, with an apparent Km of 2. 5 mM for dehydroascorbate, and a kcat of 90 min-1. Addition of 2.8 microM purified rat liver thioredoxin lowered the apparent Km to 0.7 mM, without affecting the turnover (kcat of 71 min-1). Since thioredoxin reductase requires selenium, we tested the physiologic importance of this enzyme for dehydroascorbate reduction in livers from control and selenium-deficient rats. Selenium deficiency lowered liver thioredoxin reductase activity by 88%, glutathione peroxidase activity by 99%, and ascorbate content by 33%, but did not affect GSH content. NADPH-dependent dehydroascorbate reductase activity due to thioredoxin reductase, on the basis of inhibition by aurothioglucose, was decreased 88% in dialyzed liver cytosolic fractions from selenium-deficient rats. GSH-dependent dehydroascorbate reductase activity in liver cytosol was variable, but typically 2-3-fold that of NADPH-dependent activity. These results show that the thioredoxin system can reduce dehydroascorbate, and that this function is required for maintenance of liver ascorbate content.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center