Plants possess two well described thioredoxin systems: a cytoplasmic system including several thioredoxins and an NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase and a specific chloroplastic system characterized by a ferredoxin-dependent thioredoxin reductase. On the basis of biochemical activities, plants also are supposed to have a mitochondrial thioredoxin system as described in yeast and mammals, but no gene encoding plant mitochondrial thioredoxin or thioredoxin reductase has been identified yet. We report the characterization of a plant thioredoxin system located in mitochondria. Arabidopsis thaliana genome sequencing has revealed numerous thioredoxin genes among which we have identified AtTRX-o1, a gene encoding a thioredoxin with a potential mitochondrial transit peptide. AtTRX-o1 and a second gene, AtTRX-o2, define, on the basis of the sequence and intron positions, a new thioredoxin type up to now specific to plants. We also have characterized AtNTRA, a gene encoding a protein highly similar to the previously described cytosolic NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase AtNTRB but with a putative presequence for import into mitochondria. Western blot analysis of A. thaliana subcellular and submitochondrial fractions and in vitro import experiments show that AtTRX-o1 and AtNTRA are targeted to the mitochondrial matrix through their cleavable N-terminal signal. The two proteins truncated to the estimated mature forms were produced in Escherichia coli; AtTRX-o1 efficiently reduces insulin in the presence of DTT and is reduced efficiently by AtNTRA and NADPH. Therefore, the thioredoxin and the NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase described here are proposed to constitute a functional plant mitochondrial thioredoxin system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 20 2001|
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