Implications of the mitochondrial interactome of mammalian thioredoxin 2 for normal cellular function and disease

Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Jun:137:59-73. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.04.018. Epub 2019 Apr 21.


Multiple thioredoxin isoforms exist in all living cells. To explore the possible functions of mammalian mitochondrial thioredoxin 2 (Trx2), an interactome of mouse Trx2 was initially created using (i) a monothiol mouse Trx2 species for capturing protein partners from different organs and (ii) yeast two hybrid screens on human liver and rat brain cDNA libraries. The resulting interactome consisted of 195 proteins (Trx2 included) plus the mitochondrial 16S RNA. 48 of these proteins were classified as mitochondrial (MitoCarta2.0 human inventory). In a second step, the mouse interactome was combined with the current four-membered mitochondrial sub-network of human Trx2 (BioGRID) to give a 53-membered human Trx2 mitochondrial interactome (52 interactor proteins plus the mitochondrial 16S RNA). Although thioredoxins are thiol-employing disulfide oxidoreductases, approximately half of the detected interactions were not due to covalent disulfide bonds. This finding reinstates the extended role of thioredoxins as moderators of protein function by specific non-covalent, protein-protein interactions. Analysis of the mitochondrial interactome suggested that human Trx2 was involved potentially in mitochondrial integrity, formation of iron sulfur clusters, detoxification of aldehydes, mitoribosome assembly and protein synthesis, protein folding, ADP ribosylation, amino acid and lipid metabolism, glycolysis, the TCA cycle and the electron transport chain. The oxidoreductase functions of Trx2 were verified by its detected interactions with mitochondrial peroxiredoxins and methionine sulfoxide reductase. Parkinson's disease, triosephosphate isomerase deficiency, combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency, and lactate dehydrogenase b deficiency are some of the diseases where the proposed mitochondrial network of Trx2 may be implicated.

Keywords: Disulfide; Interactome; Interactor; Mitochondrion; Redox; Thiol-disulfide interchange; Thioredoxin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism*
  • RNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thioredoxins