The Effects of Hexavalent Chromium on Thioredoxin Reductase and Peroxiredoxins in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Free Radical Biology and Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.74). 11/2009; 47(10):1477-1485. DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.08.015


Inhalational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) compounds (e.g., chromates) is of concern in many Cr-related industries and their surrounding environments. The bronchial epithelium is directly exposed to inhaled Cr(VI). Cr(VI) species gain easy access inside cells, where they are reduced to reactive Cr species, which may also contribute to the generation of reactive oxygen species. The thioredoxin (Trx) system promotes cell survival and has a major role in maintaining intracellular thiol redox balance. Previous studies with normal human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) demonstrated that chromates cause dose- and time-dependent oxidation of Trx1 and Trx2. The Trx’s keep many intracellular proteins reduced, including the peroxiredoxins (Prx’s). Prx1 (cytosolic) and Prx3 (mitochondrial) were oxidized by Cr(VI) treatments that oxidized all, or nearly all, of the respective Trx’s. Prx oxidation is therefore probably the result of a lack of reducing equivalents from Trx. Trx reductases (TrxR’s) keep the Trx’s largely in the reduced state. Cr(VI) caused pronounced inhibition of TrxR, but the levels of TrxR protein remained unchanged. The inhibition of TrxR was not reversed by removal of residual Cr(VI) or by NADPH, the endogenous electron donor for TrxR. In contrast, the oxidation of Trx1, Trx2, and Prx3 was reversible by disulfide reductants. Prolonged inhibition of TrxR in Cr(VI)-treated cells might contribute to the sustained oxidation of Trx’s and Prx’s. Reduced Trx binds to an N-terminal domain of apoptosis signaling kinase (ASK1), keeping ASK1 inactive. Cr(VI) treatments that significantly oxidized Trx1 resulted in pronounced dissociation of Trx1 from ASK1. Overall, the effects of Cr(VI) on the redox state and function of the Trx’s, Prx’s, and TrxR in the bronchial epithelium could have important implications for redox-sensitive cell signaling and tolerance of oxidant insults.

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    • "Redox western blots for Prx1 and Prx3 were done as adapted from Cox et al.[53]as previously described[54]. Cells grown for two days in T-25 asks were fed with fresh medium and then treated with the indicated drugs or vehicle controls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxiredoxin-3 (Prx3) accounts for about 90% of mitochondrial peroxidase activity, and its marked upregulation in many cancers is important for cell survival. Prx3 oxidation can critically alter peroxide signaling and defense and can be a seminal event in promoting cell death. Here it is shown that this mechanism can be exploited pharmacologically by combinations of clinically available drugs that compromise Prx3 function in different ways. Clinically relevant levels of the thiosemicarbazone iron chelators triapine (Tp) and 2,2'-Dipyridyl-N,N-dimethylsemicarbazone (Dp44mT) promote selective oxidation of mitochondrial Prx3, but not cytosolic Prx1, in multiple human lung and ovarian cancer lines. Decreased cell survival closely correlates with Prx3 oxidation. However, Prx3 oxidation is not merely an indicator of cell death as cytotoxic concentrations of cisplatin do not cause Prx3 oxidation. The siRNA-mediated suppression of either Prx3 or thioredoxin-2, which supports Prx3, enhances Tp's cytotoxicity. Tp-mediated Prx3 oxidation is driven by enhanced peroxide generation, but not by nitric oxide. Many tumors overexpress thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) which supports Prx activity. Direct inhibitors of TrxR (e.g. auranofin, cisplatin) markedly enhanced Tp's cytotoxicity, and auranofin enhanced Prx3 oxidation by low dose Tp. Together, these results support an important role for Prx3 oxidation in the cytotoxicity of Tp, and demonstrate that TrxR inhibitors can significantly enhance Tp's cytotoxicity. Thiosemicarbazone-based regimens could prove effective for targeting Prx3 in a variety of cancers.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
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    • "NADPH is considered as a critical source of reducing equivalent, which contributes to the maintenance of the antioxidant defense capability and glutathione (GSH) regeneration [24]. The NADPH-dependent antioxidant enzymes including the thioredoxin and glutaredoxin systems play important roles in the maintenance of redox homeostasis owing to the regulation of thiol-disulfide exchange [25] [26]. Although manipulating the carbohydrate source of the culture medium can interfere with the intracellular NADPH production via the PPP [27], it remains unclear whether the increase of the glycolytic flux can contribute to an increase of the intracellular NADPH content of human cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are an important cause of mitochondrial diseases, for which there is no effective treatment due to complex pathophysiology. It has been suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction-elicited reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial diseases, and the expression levels of several clusters of genes are altered in response to the elevated oxidative stress. Recently, we reported that glycolysis in affected cells with mitochondrial dysfunction is upregulated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and such an adaptive response of metabolic reprogramming plays an important role in the pathophysiology of mitochondrial diseases. Scope of review: We summarize recent findings regarding the role of AMPK-mediated signaling pathways that are involved in: (1) metabolic reprogramming, (2) alteration of cellular redox status and antioxidant enzyme expression, (3) mitochondrial biogenesis, and (4) autophagy, a master regulator of mitochondrial quality control in skin fibroblasts from patients with mitochondrial diseases. Major conclusion: Induction of adaptive responses via AMPK-PFK2, AMPK-FOXO3a, AMPK-PGC-1α, and AMPK-mTOR signaling pathways, respectively is modulated for the survival of human cells under oxidative stress induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. We suggest that AMPK may be a potential target for the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases. General significance: Elucidation of the adaptive mechanism involved in AMPK activation cascades would lead us to gain a deeper insight into the crosstalk between mitochondria and the nucleus in affected tissue cells from patients with mitochondrial diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Frontiers of Mitochondrial Research.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    • "TrxR is overexpressed in many cancer cells and has been identified as a potential target of anticancer drugs. Studies have found that TrxR exhibited protective effects against various cellular stresses, including the growth inhibition, and cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide, tumor necrosis factor-α and chemotherapeutic agents [4], [5], [6]. For instance, cisplatin-resistant human bladder cancer cells and PC-3 prostatic cancer cells displayed increased expression levels of TrxR [6], [7], [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Thioredoxin system plays an important role in regulation of intracellular redox balance and various signaling pathways. Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) is overexpressed in many cancer cells and has been identified as a potential target of anticancer drugs. Auranofin (AF) is potent TrxR inhibitor with novel in vitro and in vivo anticancer activities. Selenocystine (SeC) is a nutritionally available selenoamino acid with selective anticancer effects through induction of apoptosis. In the present study, we demonstrated the synergistic effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of SeC in combination with AF on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The results showed that SeC and AF synergistically inhibited the cancer cell growth through induction of ROS-dependent apoptosis with the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction. DNA damage-mediated p53 phosphorylation and down-regulation of phosphorylated AKT and ERK also contributed to cell apoptosis. Moreover, we demonstrated the important role of TrxR activity in the synergistic action of SeC and AF. Taken together, our results suggest the strategy to use SeC and AF in combination could be a highly efficient way to achieve anticancer synergism by targeting TrxR.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · PLoS ONE
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