Thioredoxin is required for S-nitrosation of procaspase-3 and the inhibition of apoptosis in Jurkat cells

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 10;104(28):11609-14. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0704898104. Epub 2007 Jul 2.


S-nitrosation is a posttranslational, oxidative addition of NO to cysteine residues of proteins that has been proposed as a cGMP-independent signaling pathway [Hess DT, Matsumoto A, Kim SO, Marshall HE, Stamler JS (2005) Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 6:150-166]. A paradox of S-nitrosation is that only a small set of reactive cysteines are modified in vivo despite the promiscuous reactivity NO exhibits with thiols, precluding the reaction of free NO as the primary mechanism of S-nitrosation. Here we show that a specific transnitrosation reaction between procaspase-3 and thioredoxin-1 (Trx) occurs in cultured human T cells and prevents apoptosis. Trx participation in catalyzing transnitrosation reactions in cells may be general because this protein has numerous protein-protein interactions and plays a key role in cellular redox homeostasis [Powis G, Montfort WR (2001) Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 41:261-295], nitrosothiol content in cells [Haendeler J, Hoffmann J, Tischler V, Berk BC, Zeiher AM, Dimmeler S (2002) Nat Cell Biol 4:743-749], and antiapoptotic signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / physiology
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Precursors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Nitrates / metabolism*
  • Nitrosation
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism*
  • Thioredoxins / pharmacology


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Enzyme Precursors
  • Nitrates
  • TXN protein, human
  • Thioredoxins
  • Caspase 3