Plant physiology

Atypical thioredoxins in poplar: the glutathione-dependent thioredoxin-like 2.1 supports the activity of target enzymes possessing a single redox active cysteine.

PMID 22523226


Plant thioredoxins (Trxs) constitute a complex family of thiol oxidoreductases generally sharing a WCGPC active site sequence. Some recently identified plant Trxs (Clot, Trx-like1 and -2, Trx-lilium1, -2, and -3) display atypical active site sequences with altered residues between the two conserved cysteines. The transcript expression patterns, subcellular localizations, and biochemical properties of some representative poplar (Populus spp.) isoforms were investigated. Measurements of transcript levels for the 10 members in poplar organs indicate that most genes are constitutively expressed. Using transient expression of green fluorescent protein fusions, Clot and Trx-like1 were found to be mainly cytosolic, whereas Trx-like2.1 was located in plastids. All soluble recombinant proteins, except Clot, exhibited insulin reductase activity, although with variable efficiencies. Whereas Trx-like2.1 and Trx-lilium2.2 were efficiently regenerated both by NADPH-Trx reductase and glutathione, none of the proteins were reduced by the ferredoxin-Trx reductase. Only Trx-like2.1 supports the activity of plastidial thiol peroxidases and methionine sulfoxide reductases employing a single cysteine residue for catalysis and using a glutathione recycling system. The second active site cysteine of Trx-like2.1 is dispensable for this reaction, indicating that the protein possesses a glutaredoxin-like activity. Interestingly, the Trx-like2.1 active site replacement, from WCRKC to WCGPC, suppresses its capacity to use glutathione as a reductant but is sufficient to allow the regeneration of target proteins employing two cysteines for catalysis, indicating that the nature of the residues composing the active site sequence is crucial for substrate selectivity/recognition. This study provides another example of the cross talk existing between the glutathione/glutaredoxin and Trx-dependent pathways.