The Journal of biological chemistry

Reversible oxidation of the active site cysteine of peroxiredoxins to cysteine sulfinic acid. Immunoblot detection with antibodies specific for the hyperoxidized cysteine-containing sequence.

PMID 14559909


We previously suggested that oxidation of the active site cysteine of peroxiredoxin (Prx) I or Prx II to cysteine sulfinic acid in H2O2-treated cells is reversible (Woo, H. A., Chae, H. Z., Hwang, S. C., Yang, K.-S., Kang, S. W., Kim, K., and Rhee, S. G. (2003) Science 300, 653-656). In contrast, it was recently proposed that sulfinylation of Prx II, but not that of Prx I or Prx III, is reversible (Chevallet, M., Wagner, E., Luche, S., van Dorssealaer, A., Leize-Wagner, E., and Rabilloud, T. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 37146-37153). The detection of sulfinylated proteins in both of these previous studies relied on complex proteomics analysis. We now describe a simple immunoblot assay for the detection of sulfinylated Prx enzymes that is based on antibodies produced in response to a sulfonylated peptide modeled on the conserved active site sequence. These antibodies recognized both sulfinic and sulfonic forms of Prx equally well and allowed the detection of sulfinylated Prx enzymes in H2O2-treated cells with high sensitivity and specificity. With the use of these antibodies, we demonstrated that not only the cytosolic enzymes Prx I and Prx II but also the mitochondrial enzyme Prx III undergo reversible sulfinylation. The generation of antibodies specific for sulfonylated peptides should provide insight into protein function similar to that achieved with antibodies to peptides containing phosphoserine or phosphothreonine.