Probing the mechanism of the peroxiredoxin decamer interaction with its reductase sulfiredoxin from the single molecule to the solution scale

Nanoscale Horiz. 2022 May 3;7(5):515-525. doi: 10.1039/d2nh00037g.


Peroxiredoxins from the Prx1 subfamily (Prx) are highly regulated multifunctional proteins involved in oxidative stress response, redox signaling and cell protection. Prx is a homodimer that associates into a decamer. The monomer C-terminus plays intricate roles in Prx catalytic functions, decamer stability and interaction with its redox partner, the small reductase sulfiredoxin (Srx), that regulates the switching between Prx cellular functions. As only static structures of covalent Prx-Srx complexes have been reported, whether Srx binding dissociates the decameric assembly and how Prx subunit flexibility impacts complex formation are unknown. Here, we assessed the non-covalent interaction mechanism and dynamics in the solution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Srx with the ten subunits of Prx Tsa1 at the decamer level via a combination of multiscale biophysical approaches including native mass spectrometry. We show that the ten subunits of the decamer can be saturated by ten Srx molecules and that the Tsa1 decamer in complex with Srx does not dissociate in solution. Furthermore, the binding events of atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip-grafted Srx molecules to Tsa1 individual subunits were relevant to the interactions between free molecules in solution. Combined with protein engineering and rapid kinetics, the observation of peculiar AFM force-distance signatures revealed that Tsa1 C-terminus flexibility controls Tsa1/Srx two-step binding and dynamics and determines the force-induced dissociation of Srx from each subunit of the decameric complex in a sequential or concerted mode. This combined approach from the solution to the single-molecule level offers promising prospects for understanding oligomeric protein interactions with their partners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biophysics
  • Catalysis
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Oxidoreductases*
  • Peroxiredoxins*


  • Oxidoreductases
  • Peroxiredoxins