Thioredoxins are small, highly conserved oxidoreductases which are required to maintain the redox homeostasis of the cell. Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a cytoplasmic thioredoxin system (TRX1, TRX2, and TRR1) as well as a complete mitochondrial thioredoxin system, comprising a thioredoxin (TRX3) and a thioredoxin reductase (TRR2). In the present study we have analyzed the functional overlap between the two systems. By constructing mutant strains with deletions of both the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic systems (trr1 trr2 and trx1 trx2 trx3), we show that cells can survive in the absence of both systems. Analysis of the redox state of the cytoplasmic thioredoxins reveals that they are maintained independently of the mitochondrial system. Similarly, analysis of the redox state of Trx3 reveals that it is maintained in the reduced form in wild-type cells and in mutants lacking components of the cytoplasmic thioredoxin system (trx1 trx2 or trr1). Surprisingly, the redox state of Trx3 is also unaffected by the loss of the mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase (trr2) and is largely maintained in the reduced form unless cells are exposed to an oxidative stress. Since glutathione reductase (Glr1) has been shown to colocalize to the cytoplasm and mitochondria, we examined whether loss of GLR1 influences the redox state of Trx3. During normal growth conditions, deletion of TRR2 and GLR1 was found to result in partial oxidation of Trx3, indicating that both Trr2 and Glr1 are required to maintain the redox state of Trx3. The oxidation of Trx3 in this double mutant is even more pronounced during oxidative stress or respiratory growth conditions. Taken together, these data indicate that Glr1 and Trr2 have an overlapping function in the mitochondria.
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