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TriPer, an optical probe tuned to the endoplasmic reticulum tracks changes in luminal H$_2$O$_2$

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Melo, EP 
Lopes, C 
Gollwitzer, P 
Lortz, S 
Lenzen, S 


Background: The fate of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been inferred indirectly from the activity of ER-localized thiol oxidases and peroxiredoxins, in vitro, and the consequences of their genetic manipulation, in vivo. Over the years hints have suggested that glutathione, puzzlingly abundant in the ER lumen, might have a role in reducing the heavy burden of H2O2 produced by the luminal enzymatic machinery for disulfide bond formation. However, limitations in existing organelle-targeted H2O2 probes have rendered them inert in the thiol-oxidizing ER, precluding experimental follow-up of glutathione’s role in ER H2O2 metabolism.

Results: Here we report on the development of TriPer, a vital optical probe sensitive to changes in the concentration of H2O2 in the thiol-oxidizing environment of the ER. Consistent with the hypothesized contribution of oxidative protein folding to H2O2 production, ER-localized TriPer detected an increase in the luminal H2O2 signal upon induction of pro-insulin (a disulfide-bonded protein of pancreatic β-cells), which was attenuated by the ectopic expression of catalase in the ER lumen. Interfering with glutathione production in the cytosol by buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) or enhancing its localized destruction by expression of the glutathione-degrading enzyme ChaC1 in the lumen of the ER further enhanced the luminal H2O2 signal and eroded β-cell viability.

Conclusions: A tri-cysteine system with a single peroxidatic thiol enables H2O2 detection in oxidizing milieux such as that of the ER. Tracking ER H2O2 in live pancreatic β-cells points to a role for glutathione in H2O2 turnover.



endoplasmic reticulum, fluorescence lifetime imaging, fluorescent protein sensor, glutathione, H2O2 probe, hydrogen peroxide, live cell imaging, pancreatic β-cells, redox

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BMC Biology

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BioMed Central
Medical Research Council (MR/K015850/1)
Wellcome Trust (200848/Z/16/Z)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/H023917/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/H018301/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/K02292X/1)
Medical Research Council (G0902243)
Wellcome Trust (100140/Z/12/Z)
European Commission (277713)
This work is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust (Wellcome 200848/Z/16/Z, WT: UNS18966), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (PTDC/QUI/BIQ/119677/2010 and UID/BIM/04773/2013-CBMR), European Commission (EU FP7 Beta-Bat No: 277713), EPSRC (1503478), MRC (MR/K015850/1), and a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award for core facilities to the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (Wellcome 100140). DR is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.
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