These are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information. For more information, please see our FAQs.
Nguyen-ChemRxiv2019-MS&SI.pdf (6.32 MB)
Disruption of Redox Homeostasis by Enzymatic Activation of a Triakylphosphine Probe in Mitochondria
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
Redox homeostasis is essential for cell function and its disruption is associated with cancer, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Redox balance is largely regulated by the relative concentrations of reduced and oxidized glutathione. In eukaryotes, this ratio is different in each cell compartment, and disruption of the mitochondrial redox balance has been specifically linked to pathologies such as obesity and type II diabetes. Although reduced glutathione can be scavenged using electrophiles, there is a lack of probes that can produce it. In this study, we report an organellespecific reducing agent based on tributylphosphine that selectively reduces oxidized glutathione in mitochondria. This probe is activated by endogenous nitroreductases and subsequently releases tributylphosphine, as well as a fluorescent reporter, within the organelle. Confocal imaging and biological assays in human cells revealed that, counterintuitively, increased reduced glutathione induced oxidative stress through accumulation of superoxide. Transcriptomic analysis was used to establish that mitochondrial redox stress activates a cellular response orchestrated by transcription factor ATF4, which upregulates genes involved in glutathione metabolism.