Rationale: Thioredoxin-interacting protein (Txnip) is a novel molecular target with translational potential in diverse human diseases. Txnip has several established cellular actions including binding to thioredoxin, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS). It has been long recognized from in vitro evidence that Txnip forms a disulfide bridge through cysteine 247 (C247) with reduced thioredoxin to inhibit the anti-oxidative properties of thioredoxin. However, the physiological significance of the Txnip-thioredoxin interaction remains largely undefined in vivo. Objective: A single mutation of Txnip, C247S, abolishes the binding of Txnip with thioredoxin. Using a conditional and inducible approach with a mouse model of a mutant Txnip that does not bind thioredoxin, we tested whether the interaction of thioredoxin with Txnip is required for Txnip's pro-oxidative or cytotoxic effects in the heart. Methods and results: Overexpression of Txnip C247S in cells resulted in a reduction in ROS, due to an inability to inhibit thioredoxin. Hypoxia (1% O2, 24 h)-induced killing effects of Txnip were decreased by lower levels of cellular ROS in Txnip C247S-expressing cells compared with wild-type Txnip-expressing cells. Then, myocardial ischemic injuries were assessed in the animal model. Cardiomyocyte-specific Txnip C247S knock-in mice had better survival with smaller infarct size following myocardial infarction (MI) compared to control animals. The absence of Txnip's inhibition of thioredoxin promoted mitochondrial anti-oxidative capacities in cardiomyocytes, thereby protecting the heart from oxidative damage induced by MI. Furthermore, an unbiased RNA sequencing screen identified that hypoxia-inducible factor 1 signaling pathway was involved in Txnip C247S-mediated cardioprotective mechanisms. Conclusion: Txnip is a cysteine-containing redox protein that robustly regulates the thioredoxin system via a disulfide bond-switching mechanism in adult cardiomyocytes. Our results provide the direct in vivo evidence that regulation of redox state by Txnip is a crucial component for myocardial homeostasis under ischemic stress.
- Cell death
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine