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Mitochondrial Peroxiredoxin 3 Is Rapidly Oxidized In Cells Treated With Isothiocyanates.

K. Brown, S. Eriksson, Elias S. J. Arnér, M. Hampton
Published 2008 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Isothiocyanates are phytochemicals with anti-cancer properties that include the ability to trigger apoptosis. A substantial body of evidence suggests that reaction of the electrophilic isothiocyanate moiety with cysteine residues in cellular proteins and glutathione accounts for their biological activity. In this study we investigated the effect of several different isothiocyanates on the redox states of the cysteine-dependent peroxiredoxins (Prx) in Jurkat T lymphoma cells, and compared this to known effects on the selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase, glutathione reductase and intracellular GSH levels. Interestingly, oxidation of mitochondrial Prx3 could be detected as early as 5 min after exposure of cells to phenethyl isothiocyanate, with complete oxidation occurring at doses that only had small inhibitory effects on total cellular thioredoxin reductase and glutathione reductase activities. Peroxiredoxin oxidation was specific to the mitochondrial isoform with cytoplasmic Prx1 and Prx2 maintained in their reduced forms at all analyzed time points and concentrations of isothiocyanate. Phenethyl isothiocyanate could react with purified Prx3 directly, but it did not oxidize Prx3 or promote its oxidation by hydrogen peroxide. A selection of aromatic and alkyl isothiocyanates were tested and while all lowered cellular GSH levels, only the isothiocyanates that caused Prx3 oxidation were able to trigger cell death. We propose that pro-apoptotic isothiocyanates selectively disrupt mitochondrial redox homeostasis, as indicated by Prx3 oxidation, and that this contributes to their pro-apoptotic activity.
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