Subcellular Biochemistry Volume 44, 2007, pp 317-344

Peroxiredoxins in the Lung with Emphasis on Peroxiredoxin VI

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Abstract

All six mammalian peroxiredoxins are expressed in the lung. Peroxiredoxin (Prx) VI is the isoform expressed at the highest level and its lung expression exceeds that for other organs. The predominant location of Prx VI is the cytosol and acidic organelles of Clara cells of the conducting airways and type II epithelial cells and macrophages in the alveoli. Prx I and VI show developmental induction of transcription at birth. PrxVI shares structural homology with other peroxiredoxins exhibiting a thioredoxin fold and a conserved catalytic Cys residue in the N-terminus of the protein. This enzyme is highly inducible by oxidative stress in both the neonatal and adult lung consistent with a role in antioxidant defense. Prx VI has several properties that distinguish its peroxidase activity from other peroxiredoxins: it can reduce phospholipid hydroperoxides in addition to other organic hydroperoxides and H2O2; the electron donor that serves to reduce the oxidized peroxidatic cysteine is not thioredoxin but GSH; instead of homodimerization, heterodimerization with pi-glutathione S-transferase is required for regeneration of the active enzyme. Prx VI also expresses a phospholipase A2 activity that is Ca2+-independent, maximal at acidic pH, and dependent on a serine-based catalytic triad and nucleophilic elbow at the surface of the protein. Models of altered Prx VI expression at the cellular, organ and whole animal levels have demonstrated that Prx VI functions as an important anti-oxidant enzyme with levels of protection that exceed those ascribed to GSH peroxidase (GPx1). The phospholipase A2 activity plays an important role in lung surfactant homeostasis and is responsible for the bulk of the degradation of internalized phosphatidylcholine and its resynthesis by the reacylation pathway. Expression of peroxiredoxins is elevated in several lung diseases including lung cancer, mesothelioma and sarcoidosis, although the mechanism for these alterations is not known. The unique properties of Prx VI enable it to play an important role in lung cell function