Disulphide bonds are critical for the maturation and stability of secretory and cell-surface proteins. In eukaryotic cells, disulphide bonds are introduced in the ER (endoplasmic reticulum), where the redox conditions are optimal to support their formation. Yet, the correct pairing of cysteine residues is not simple and often requires the assistance of redox-active proteins. The enzymes of the thiol-disulphide oxidoreductase family catalyse oxidation, reduction and isomerization, and thereby play important roles for the folding of many proteins. To allow all three redox reactions to take place concurrently in the same compartment, specific protein–protein interactions regulate the function of individual enzymes, while a careful balance of the ER redox environment is maintained. At the same time, the system must be capable of responding to changes in the cellular conditions, caused, for instance, by oxidative stress and protein misfolding. This review presents recent progress in understanding how ER redox conditions are regulated and how protein disulphides are formed in the ER of mammalian cells.

You do not currently have access to this content.