Cloning and expression of a novel mammalian thioredoxin

Giannis Spyrou, Eva Enmark, Antonio Miranda-Vizuete, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


We have isolated a 1276-base pair cDNA from a rat heart cDNA library that encodes a novel thioredoxin (Trx2) of 166 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 18.2 kDa. Trx2 possesses the conserved thioredoxin-active site, Trp-Cys-Gly-Pro-Cys, but lacks structural cysteines present in all mammalian thioredoxins. Trx2 also differs from the previously described rat thioredoxin (Trx1) by the presence of a 60-amino acid extension at the N terminus. This extension has properties characteristic for a mitochondrial translocation signal, and the cleavage at a putative mitochondrial peptidase cleavage site would give a mature protein of 12.2 kDa. Western blot analysis from cytosolic, peroxisomal, and mitochondrial rat liver cell fractions confirmed mitochondrial localization of Trx2. Northern blot and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that Trx2 hybridized to a 1.3-kilobase message, and it was expressed in several tissues with the highest expression levels in heart, muscle, kidney, and adrenal gland. N-terminally truncated recombinant protein was expressed in bacteria and characterized biochemically. Trx2 possessed a dithiol- reducing enzymatic activity and, with mammalian thioredoxin reductase and NADPH, was able to reduce the interchain disulfide bridges of insulin. Furthermore, Trx2 was more resistant to oxidation than Trx1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2936-2941
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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