Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 15, pp 2457–2478 | Cite as

The human selenoproteome: recent insights into functions and regulation

  • M. A. Reeves
  • P. R. HoffmannEmail author


Selenium (Se) is a nutritional trace mineral essential for various aspects of human health that exerts its effects mainly through its incorporation into selenoproteins as the amino acid, selenocysteine. Twenty-five selenoprotein genes have been identified in humans and several selenoproteins are broadly classified as antioxidant enzymes. As progress is made on characterizing the individual members of this protein family, however, it is becoming clear that their properties and functions are quite diverse. This review summarizes recent insights into properties of individual selenoproteins such as tissue distribution, subcellular localization, and regulation of expression. Also discussed are potential roles the different selenoproteins play in human health and disease.


Selenium Selenoprotein Selenocysteine Antioxidant Redox 



This work was supported by NIH/NCRR grants G12RR003061 and P20RR016453.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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