The Multifaceted Roles of DJ-1 as an Antioxidant
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The DJ-1 protein was originally linked with Parkinson’s disease and is now known to have antioxidant functions. The protein has three redox-sensitive cysteine residues, which are involved in its dimerisation and functional properties. A mildly oxidised form of DJ-1 is the most active form and protects cells from oxidative stress conditions. DJ-1 functions as an antioxidant through a variety of mechanisms, including a weak direct antioxidant activity by scavenging reactive oxygen species. DJ-1 also regulates a number of signalling pathways, including the inhibition of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1)-induced apoptosis under oxidative stress conditions. Other proteins regulated by DJ-1 include enzymes, chaperones, the 20S proteasome and transcription factors, including Nrf2. Once activated by oxidative stress, Nrf2 upregulates antioxidant gene expression including members of the thioredoxin and glutathione pathways, which in turn mediate an antioxidant protective function. Crosstalk between DJ-1 and both the thioredoxin and glutathione systems has also been identified. Thioredoxin reduces a cysteine residue on DJ-1 to modulate its activity, while glutaredoxin1 de-glutathionylates DJ-1, preventing degradation of DJ-1 and resulting in its accumulation. DJ-1 also regulates the activity of glutamate cysteine ligase, which is the rate-limiting step for glutathione synthesis. These antioxidant functions of DJ-1 are key to its role in protecting neurons from oxidative stress and are hypothesised to protect the brain from the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to protect cardiac tissues from ischaemic-reperfusion injury. However, DJ-1, as an antioxidant, also protects cancer cells from undergoing oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.
DJ-1/PARK7 Protein: ParkinsonⳠDisease, Cancer and Oxidative Stress-Induced Diseases
Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry not elsewhere classified