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Redox-activated Expression Of The Cytosolic Copper/zinc Superoxide Dismutase Gene In Nicotiana.

D. Hérouart, M. Van Montagu, D. Inzé
Published 1993 · Biology, Medicine

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Superoxide dismutases (SODs; superoxide: superoxide oxidoreductase, EC play a key role in protection against oxygen radicals, and SOD gene expression is highly induced during environmental stress. To determine the conditions of SOD induction, the promoter of the cytosolic copper/zinc SOD (Cu/ZnSODcyt) gene was isolated in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and fused to the beta-glucuronidase reporter gene. Oxidative stress is likely to alter the cellular redox in favor of the oxidized status. Surprisingly, the expression of the Cu/ZnSODcyt gene is induced by sulfhydryl antioxidants such as reduced glutathione, cysteine, and dithiothreitol, whereas the oxidized forms of glutathione and cysteine have no effect. It is therefore possible that reduced glutathione directly acts as an antioxidant and simultaneously activates the Cu/ZnSODcyt gene during oxidative stress.

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