Chaperone-like properties of tobacco plastid thioredoxins f and m

Autores UPV


Thioredoxins (Trxs) are ubiquitous disulphide reductases that play important roles in the redox regulation of many cellular processes. However, some redox-independent functions, such as chaperone activity, have also been attributed to Trxs in recent years. The focus of our study is on the putative chaperone function of the well-described plastid Trxs f and m. To that end, the cDNA of both Trxs, designated as NtTrxf and NtTrxm, was isolated from Nicotiana tabacum plants. It was found that bacterially expressed tobacco Trx f and Trx m, in addition to their disulphide reductase activity, possessed chaperone-like properties. In vitro, Trx f and Trx m could both facilitate the reactivation of the cysteine-free form of chemically denatured glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (foldase chaperone activity) and prevent heat-induced malate dehydrogenase aggregation (holdase chaperone activity). Our results led us to infer that the disulphide reductase and foldase chaperone functions prevail when the proteins occur as monomers and the well-conserved non-active cysteine present in Trx f is critical for both functions. By contrast, the holdase chaperone activity of both Trxs depended on their oligomeric status: the proteins were functional only when they were associated with high molecular mass protein complexes. Because the oligomeric status of both Trxs was induced by salt and temperature, our data suggest that plastid Trxs could operate as molecular holdase chaperones upon oxidative stress, acting as a type of small stress protein. © 2011 The Author(s).