Glutaredoxin 2 knockout increases sensitivity to oxidative stress in mouse lens epithelial cells

Hongli Wu, Liren Lin, Frank Giblin, Ye Sheh Ho, Marjorie F. Lou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Glutaredoxin belongs to the oxidoreductase family, with cytosolic glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1) and mitochondrial glutaredoxin 2 (Grx2) isoforms. Of the two isozymes, the function of Grx2 is not well understood. This paper describes the effects 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 expression but exhibited high sensitivity to oxidative stress. Under treatment with H 2O 2, the KO cells showed less viability, higher membrane leakage, enhanced ATP loss and complex I inactivation, and weakened ability to detoxify H 2O 2 in comparison with 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 that protects cells against H 2O 2-induced injury via its peroxidase and dethiolase activities; particularly, Grx2 prevents complex I inactivation and preserves mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2108-2117
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Complex I
  • Free radicals
  • Glutaredoxin 2
  • Glutathionylation
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress


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