Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 December 1; 51(11): 2108–2117. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.09.011.


Glutaredoxin belongs to the oxidoreductase family with cytosolic glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1) and mitochondrial gluraredoxin 2 (Grx2) isoforms. Of the two isozymes, the function of Grx2 is not well understood. This paper studied the effect of Grx2 deletion on cellular function using primary lens epithelial cell cultures isolated from Grx2 gene knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. We found that both cell types showed similar growth patterns and morphology, and comparable mitochondrial glutathione pool and complex I activity. Cells with deleted Grx2 did not show affected Grx1 or thioredoxin (Trx) expression but exhibited high sensitivity to oxidative stress. Under treatment of H2O2, the KO cells showed less viability, higher membrane leakage, enhanced ATP loss and complex I inactivation, and weakened ability to detoxify H2O2 in comparison with that of the WT cells. The KO cells had higher glutathionylation in the mitochondrial proteins, particularly the 75-kDa subunit of complex I. Recombinant Grx2 deglutathionylated complex I, and restored most of its activity. We conclude that Grx2 has a function to protect cells against H2O2-induced injury via its peroxidase and dethiolase activities; particularly, Grx2 prevents complex I inactivation and preserves mitochondrial function.