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Proteins containing the 21st amino acid selenocysteine (Sec) are present in the three domains of life. However, within lower eukaryotes, particularly parasitic protists, the dependence on the trace element selenium is variable as many organisms lost the ability to utilize Sec. Herein, we analyzed the genomes of Trypanosoma and Leishmania for the presence of(More)
The thioredoxin system-formed by thioredoxin reductase and its characteristic substrate thioredoxin-is an important constituent of the intracellular redox milieu. Interactions with many different metabolic pathways such as DNA-synthesis, selenium metabolism, and the antioxidative network as well as significant species differences render this system an(More)
Human thioredoxin reductase is a pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase closely related to glutathione reductase but differing from the latter in having a Cys-SeCys (selenocysteine) sequence as an additional redox center. Because selenoproteins cannot be expressed yet in heterologous systems, we optimized the purification of the protein from placenta(More)
The use of selenocysteine (Sec) as the 21st amino acid in the genetic code has been described in all three major domains of life. However, within eukaryotes, selenoproteins are only known in animals and algae. In this study, we characterized selenoproteomes and Sec insertion systems in protozoan Apicomplexa parasites. We found that among these organisms,(More)
Selenium, an essential trace element for mammals, is incorporated into a selected class of selenoproteins as selenocysteine. All known isoenzymes of mammalian thioredoxin (Trx) reductases (TrxRs) employ selenium in the C-terminal redox center -Gly-Cys-Sec-Gly-COOH for reduction of Trx and other substrates, whereas the corresponding sequence in Drosophila(More)
The public perception of selenium has changed significantly over the last decades. Originally mainly known for its high toxicity, it was later recognized as an essential trace element and is now (despite its narrow therapeutic window) almost being marketed as a lifestyle drug. Indeed, some clinical and preclinical studies suggest that selenium(More)
Human cytosolic thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), a homodimeric protein containing 1 selenocysteine and 1 FAD per subunit of 55 kDa, catalyses the NADPH-dependent reduction of thioredoxin disulfide and of numerous other oxidized cell constituents. As a general reducing enzyme with little substrate specificity, it also contributes to redox homeostasis and is(More)
The mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is an important vector of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Full genome analysis revealed that, as in Drosophila melanogaster, the enzyme glutathione reductase is absent in A. gambiae and functionally substituted by the thioredoxin system. The key enzyme of this system is thioredoxin reductase-1, a homodimeric FAD-containing(More)
Thioredoxin reductase, lipoamide dehydrogenase, and glutathione reductase are members of the pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase family of dimeric flavoenzymes. The mechanisms and structures of lipoamide dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase are alike irrespective of the source (subunit M(r) approximately 55,000). Although the mechanism and(More)