Gpxs (glutathione peroxidases) constitute a family of peroxidases, including selenocysteine- or cysteine-containing isoforms (SeCys-Gpx or Cys-Gpx), which are regenerated by glutathione or Trxs (thioredoxins) respectively. In the present paper we show new data concerning the substrates of poplar Gpx5 and the residues involved in its catalytic mechanism. The present study establishes the capacity of this Cys-Gpx to reduce peroxynitrite with a catalytic efficiency of 106 M−1·s−1. In PtGpx5 (poplar Gpx5; Pt is Populus trichocarpa), Glu79, which replaces the glutamine residue usually found in the Gpx catalytic tetrad, is likely to be involved in substrate selectivity. Although the redox midpoint potential of the Cys44–Cys92 disulfide bond and the pKa of Cys44 are not modified in the E79Q variant, it exhibited significantly improved kinetic parameters (Kperoxide and kcat) with tert-butyl hydroperoxide. The characterization of the monomeric Y151R variant demonstrated that PtGpx5 is not an obligate homodimer. Also, we show that the conserved Phe90 is important for Trx recognition and that Trx-mediated recycling of PtGpx5 occurs via the formation of a transient disulfide bond between the Trx catalytic cysteine residue and the Gpx5 resolving cysteine residue. Finally, we demonstrate that the conformational changes observed during the transition from the reduced to the oxidized form of PtGpx5 are primarily determined by the oxidation of the peroxidatic cysteine into sulfenic acid. Also, MS analysis of in-vitro-oxidized PtGpx5 demonstrated that the peroxidatic cysteine residue can be over-oxidized into sulfinic or sulfonic acids. This suggests that some isoforms could have dual functions potentially acting as hydrogen-peroxide- and peroxynitrite-scavenging systems and/or as mediators of peroxide signalling as proposed for 2-Cys peroxiredoxins.

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