Human mitochondrial thioredoxin. Involvement in mitochondrial membrane potential and cell death

Anastasios E. Damdimopoulos, Antonio Miranda-Vizuete, Markku Pelto-Huikko, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Giannis Spyrou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Thioredoxins (Trx) are a class of small multifunctional redox-active proteins found in all organisms. Recently, we reported the cloning of a mitochondrial thioredoxin, Trx2, from rat heart. To investigate the biological role of Trx2 we have isolated the human homologue, hTrx2, and generated HEK-293 cells overexpressing Trx2 (HEK-Trx2). Here, we show that HEK-Trx2 cells are more resistant toward etoposide. In addition, HEK-Trx2 are more sensitive toward rotenone, an inhibitor of complex I of the respiratory chain. Finally, overexpression of Trx2 confers an increase in mitochondrial membrane potential, ΔΨm. Treatment with oligomycin could both reverse the effect of rotenone and decrease the membrane potential suggesting that Trx2 interferes with the activity of ATP synthase. Taken together, these results suggest that Trx2 interacts with specific components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and plays an important role in the regulation of the mitochondrial membrane potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33249-33257
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 6 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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