6-NADH and 6-NADPH are strong inhibitors of several dehydrogenases that may form spontaneously from NAD(P)H. They are known to be oxidized to NAD(P)+ by mammalian renalase, an FAD-linked enzyme mainly present in heart and kidney, and by related bacterial enzymes. We partially purified an enzyme oxidizing 6-NADPH from rat liver, and, surprisingly, identified it as pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidase (PNPO). This was confirmed by the finding that recombinant mouse PNPO oxidized 6-NADH and 6-NADPH with catalytic efficiencies comparable to those observed with pyridoxine- and pyridoxamine-5′-phosphate. PNPOs from Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana also displayed 6-NAD(P)H oxidase activity, indicating that this ‘side-activity’ is conserved. Remarkably, ‘pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidase-related proteins’ (PNPO-RP) from Nostoc punctiforme, A. thaliana and the yeast S. cerevisiae (Ygr017w) were not detectably active on pyridox(am)ine-5′-P, but oxidized 6-NADH, 6-NADPH and 2-NADH suggesting that this may be their main catalytic function. Their specificity profiles were therefore similar to that of renalase. Inactivation of renalase and of PNPO in mammalian cells and of Ygr017w in yeasts led to the accumulation of a reduced form of 6-NADH, tentatively identified as 4,5,6-NADH3, which can also be produced in vitro by reduction of 6-NADH by glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. As 4,5,6-NADH3 is not a substrate for renalase, PNPO or PNPO-RP, its accumulation presumably reflects the block in the oxidation of 6-NADH. These findings indicate that two different classes of enzymes using either FAD (renalase) or FMN (PNPOs and PNPO-RPs) as a cofactor play an as yet unsuspected role in removing damaged forms of NAD(P).

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