Xu J, Cheng Q, Arnér ES
Free Radic. Biol. Med. 94 (-) 110-120 [2016-05-00; online 2016-02-17]
The mammalian selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase 1 (TrxR1) is a key enzyme in redox regulation, antioxidant defense, and cellular growth. TrxR1 can catalyze efficient reduction of juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone; walnut toxin) in a reaction which, in contrast to reduction of most other substrates of TrxR1, is not dependent upon an intact selenocysteine (Sec, U) residue of the enzyme. Using a number of TrxR1 mutant variants, we here found that a sole Cys residue at the C-terminal tail of TrxR1 is required for high-efficiency juglone-coupled NADPH oxidase activity of Sec-deficient enzyme, occurring with mixed one- and two-electron reactions producing superoxide. The activity also utilizes the FAD and the N-terminal redox active disulfide/dithiol motif of TrxR1. If a sole Cys residue at the C-terminal tail of TrxR1, in the absence of Sec, was moved further towards the C-terminal end of the protein compared to its natural position at residue 497, juglone reduction was, surprisingly, further increased. Ala substitutions of Trp407, Asn418 and Asn419 in a previously described "guiding bar", thought to mediate interactions of the C-terminal tail of TrxR1 with the FAD/dithiol site at the N-terminal domain of the other subunit in the dimeric enzyme, lowered turnover with juglone about 4.5-fold. Four residues of Sec-deficient TrxR1 were found to be easily arylated by juglone, including the Cys residue at position 497. Based upon our observations we suggest a model for involvement of the juglone-arylated C-terminal motif of TrxR1 to explain its high activity with juglone. This study thus provides novel insights into the catalytic mechanisms of TrxR1. One-electron juglone reduction by TrxR1 producing superoxide should furthermore contribute to the well-known prooxidant cytotoxicity of juglone.