Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) is a member of the pyridine nucleotide-disulfide reductase family, which mainly functions in the thioredoxin system. TrxR is found in all living organisms and exists in two major ubiquitous isoenzymes in higher eukaryotic cells; One is cytosolic and the other mitochondrial. Mitochondrial TrxR functions to protect mitochondria from oxidative stress, where reactive oxidative species are mainly generated, while cytosolic TrxR plays a role to maintain optimal oxido-reductive status in cytosol. In this study, we report differential physiological functions of these two TrxRs in C. elegans. trxr-1, the cytosolic TrxR, is highly expressed in pharynx, vulva and intestine, whereas trxr-2, the mitochondrial TrxR, is mainly expressed in pharyngeal and body wall muscles. Deficiency of the non-selenoprotein trxr-2 caused defects in longevity and delayed development under stress conditions, while deletion mutation of the selenoprotein trxr-1 resulted in interference in acidification of lysosomal compartment in intestine. Interestingly, the acidification defect of trxr-1(jh143) deletion mutant was rescued, not only by selenocystein-containing wild type TRXR-1, but also cysteine-substituted mutant TRXR-1. Both trxr-1 and trxr-2 were up-regulated when worms were challenged by environmental stress such as heat shock. These results suggest that trxr-1 and trxr-2 function differently at organismal level presumably by their differential sub-cellular localization in C. elegans.