Glutaredoxin (Grx)2 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a member of the two-cysteine (dithiol) subfamily of Grxs involved in the defence against oxidative stress in yeast. Recombinant yeast Grx2p, expressed in Escherichia coli, behaves as a ‘classical’ Grx that efficiently catalyses the reduction of hydroxyethyl disulphide by GSH. Grx2p also catalyses the reduction of GSSG by dihydrolipoamide with even higher efficiency. Western blot analysis of S. cerevisiae crude extracts identifies two isoforms of Grx2p of 15.9 and 11.9kDa respectively. The levels of these two isoforms reach a peak during the exponential phase of growth in normal yeast extract/peptone/dextrose ('YPD') medium, with the long form predominating over the short one. From immunochemical analysis of subcellular fractions, it is shown that both isoforms are present in mitochondria, but only the short one is detected in the cytosolic fraction. On the other hand, only the long form is prominent in microsomes. Mitochondrial isoforms should represent the processed and unprocessed products of an open reading frame (YDR513W), with a putative start codon 99bp upstream of the GRX2 start codon described thus far. These results indicate that GRX2 contains two in-frame start codons, and that translation from the first AUG results in a product that is targeted to mitochondria. The cytosolic form would result either by initiation from the second AUG, or by differential processing of one single translation product.

Abbreviations used: Grx, glutaredoxin; HED, 2-hydroxyethyl disulphide; IPTG, isopropyl β-d-thiogalactoside; ORF, open reading frame; protein-SSG, protein—glutathionyl mixed disulphide; YPD, yeast extract/peptone/dextrose medium.

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