Differential cellular and subcellular localization of heme-binding protein 23/peroxiredoxin I and heme oxygenase-1 in rat liver

J Histochem Cytochem. 2003 Dec;51(12):1621-31. doi: 10.1177/002215540305101206.


Heme-binding protein 23 (HBP23), also termed peroxiredoxin (Prx) I, and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) are distinct antioxidant stress proteins that are co-ordinately induced by oxidative stress. HBP23/Prx I has thioredoxin-dependent peroxidase activity with high binding affinity for the pro-oxidant heme, while HO-1 is the inducible isoform of the rate-limiting enzyme of heme degradation. We investigated the cellular and subcellular localization of both proteins in rat liver. Whereas by immunohistochemistry (IHC) a uniformly high level of HBP23/Prx I expression was observed in liver parenchymal and different sinusoidal cells, HO-1 expression was restricted to Kupffer cells. By immunoelectron microscopy using the protein A-gold technique, HBP23/Prx I immunoreactivity was detected in cytoplasm, nuclear matrix, mitochondria, and peroxisomes of parenchymal and non-parenchymal liver cell populations. In contrast, the secretory pathway, i.e., the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, was free of label. As determined by immunocytochemical (ICC) studies in liver cell cultures and by Western and Northern blotting analysis, HBP23/Prx I was highly expressed in cultures of isolated hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. In contrast, HO-1 was constitutively expressed only in Kupffer cell cultures but was also inducible in hepatocytes. These data suggest that HBP23/Prx I and HO-1 may have complementary antioxidant functions in different cell populations in rat liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / biosynthesis
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / metabolism*
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Peroxidases / biosynthesis
  • Peroxidases / metabolism*
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Peroxidases
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Heme Oxygenase-1