Experimental eye research

Expression and distribution of thiol-regulating enzyme glutaredoxin 2 (GRX2) in porcine ocular tissues.

PMID 25479045


Glutaredoxin2 (Grx2) is a mitochondrial isozyme of the cytosolic glutaredoxin1 (thioltransferase or TTase). Both belong to the large oxidoreductase family and play an important role in maintaining thiol/disulfide redox homeostasis in the cells. Grx2 is recently found in the lens where its activities of disulfide reductase and peroxidase, similar to TTase, can protect the lens against oxidative stress. Since other eye tissues are also highly sensitive to oxidative stress, and TTase's distribution in the eye is known, we focused on this study by investigating the Grx2 distribution in the ocular tissues in comparison to the lens. Fresh porcine eyes were dissected into cornea, iris, ciliary body, the lens, vitreous humor, retina, and optic nerve. Each tissue (pooled from three eyes) was homogenized and processed for mitochondrial isolation. The mitochondrial fraction was analyzed for Grx2 protein using Western blotting with anti-Grx2 antibody, and Grx2 activity using the published procedure. The eye tissues were also measured for Grx2 mRNA expression by RT-PCR with GAPDH as the control. Grx2-rich mouse liver and purified recombinant mouse Grx2 were used as positive controls for the above analyses. It was found that Grx2 was present in all the tested ocular tissues, except vitreous humor. In comparison with the mouse liver, the protein levels of Grx2 in porcine ciliary body and the lens were 27-fold and 0.75-fold, respectively. Comparing to the lens, Grx2 protein was highest in the ciliary body (13.5-fold), followed by retina (9.2-fold), iris and optic nerve (2-fold), and cornea (1.2-fold). Enzyme activity assays showed that the retina had the highest Grx2 specific activity (3.9 mU/mg protein), followed by ciliary body (3.1 mU/mg), the lens (0.58 mU/mg), and optic nerve (0.32 mU/mg). Grx2 gene expression in these ocular tissues was further confirmed by RT-PCR analysis. Grx2 mRNA expression showed the highest in ciliary body, followed by retina, optic nerve, cornea, iris, and the lens. No Grx2 mRNA, protein or enzyme activity could be found in the vitreous humor. The results indicate that Grx2 level was higher in eye tissues rich in vasculature and mitochondria (i.e. ciliary body and retina), corroborating with the levels of mRNA expression and Grx2 activity. The rich presence of Grx2 in these tissues is also consistent with their known sensitivity to oxidative stress.