Responses to many growth and stress conditions are assumed to act via changes to the cellular redox status. However, direct measurement of pH-adjusted redox state during growth and stress has never been carried out. Organellar redox state (EGSH) was measured using the fluorescent probes roGFP2 and pHluorin in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In particular, we investigated changes in organellar redox state in response to various growth and stress conditions to better understand the relationship between redox-, oxidative- and environmental stress response systems. EGSH values of the cytosol, mitochondrial matrix and peroxisome were determined in exponential and stationary phase in various media. These values (−340 to −350 mV) were more reducing than previously reported. Interestingly, sub-cellular redox state remained unchanged when cells were challenged with stresses previously reported to affect redox homeostasis. Only hydrogen peroxide and heat stress significantly altered organellar redox state. Hydrogen peroxide stress altered the redox state of the glutathione disulfide/glutathione couple (GSSG, 2H+/2GSH) and pH. Recovery from moderate hydrogen peroxide stress was most rapid in the cytosol, followed by the mitochondrial matrix, with the peroxisome the least able to recover. Conversely, the bulk of the redox shift observed during heat stress resulted from alterations in pH and not the GSSG, 2H+/2GSH couple. This study presents the first direct measurement of pH-adjusted redox state in sub-cellular compartments during growth and stress conditions. Redox state is distinctly regulated in organelles and data presented challenge the notion that perturbation of redox state is central in the response to many stress conditions.
Glutathione is important for detoxification, as a cofactor in biochemical reactions and as a thiol-redox buffer. The cytosolic glutathione buffer is normally highly reduced with glutathione redox potentials (EGSH) of more negative than −310 mV. Maintenance of such negative redox potential is achieved through continuous reduction of glutathione disulfide by glutathione reductase (GR). Deviations from steady state glutathione redox homeostasis have been discussed as a possible mean to alter the activity of redox-sensitive proteins through switching of critical thiol residues. To better understand such signaling mechanisms it is essential to be able to measure EGSH over a wide range from highly negative redox potentials down to potentials found in mutants that show already severe phenotypes. With the advent of redox-sensitive GFPs (roGFPs), understanding the in vivo dynamics of the thiol-based redox buffer system became within reach. The original roGFP versions, roGFP1 and roGFP2, however, have midpoint potentials between −280 and −290 mV rendering them fully oxidized in the ER and almost fully reduced in the cytosol, plastids, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. To extend the range of suitable probes we have engineered a roGFP2 derivative, roGFP2-iL, with a midpoint potential of about −238 mV. This value is within the range of redox potentials reported for homologous roGFP1-iX probes, albeit with different excitation properties. To allow rapid and specific equilibration with the glutathione pool, fusion constructs with human glutaredoxin 1 (GRX1) were generated and characterized in vitro. GRX1-roGFP2-iL proved to be suitable for in vivo redox potential measurements and extends the range of EGSH values that can be measured in vivo with roGFP2-based probes from about −320 mV for GRX1-roGFP2 down to about −210 mV for GRX1-roGFP2-iL. Using both probes in the cytosol of severely glutathione-deficient rml1 seedlings revealed an EGSH of about −260 mV in this mutant.
glutathione; glutathione redox potential; GRX1-roGFP2; rml1; redox imaging
In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the cellular redox potential influences signaling events, antioxidant defense, and mechanisms of drug action and resistance. Until now, the real-time determination of the redox potential in malaria parasites has been limited because conventional approaches disrupt sub-cellular integrity. Using a glutathione biosensor comprising human glutaredoxin-1 linked to a redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein (hGrx1-roGFP2), we systematically characterized basal values and drug-induced changes in the cytosolic glutathione-dependent redox potential (EGSH) of drug-sensitive (3D7) and resistant (Dd2) P. falciparum parasites. Via confocal microscopy, we demonstrated that hGrx1-roGFP2 rapidly detects EGSH changes induced by oxidative and nitrosative stress. The cytosolic basal EGSH of 3D7 and Dd2 were estimated to be −314.2±3.1 mV and −313.9±3.4 mV, respectively, which is indicative of a highly reducing compartment. We furthermore monitored short-, medium-, and long-term changes in EGSH after incubation with various redox-active compounds and antimalarial drugs. Interestingly, the redox cyclers methylene blue and pyocyanin rapidly changed the fluorescence ratio of hGrx1-roGFP2 in the cytosol of P. falciparum, which can, however, partially be explained by a direct interaction with the probe. In contrast, quinoline and artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs showed strong effects on the parasites' EGSH after longer incubation times (24 h). As tested for various conditions, these effects were accompanied by a drop in total glutathione concentrations determined in parallel with alternative methods. Notably, the effects were generally more pronounced in the chloroquine-sensitive 3D7 strain than in the resistant Dd2 strain. Based on these results hGrx1-roGFP2 can be recommended as a reliable and specific biosensor for real-time spatiotemporal monitoring of the intracellular EGSH in P. falciparum. Applying this technique in further studies will enhance our understanding of redox regulation and mechanisms of drug action and resistance in Plasmodium and might also stimulate redox research in other pathogens.
In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, cellular redox reactions play important roles not only in redox-regulatory processes and antioxidant defense but also in the mechanisms of drug action and drug resistance. The tripeptide glutathione is present in malaria parasites in millimolar concentrations and represents the most important low molecular weight antioxidant. In this work, we describe the application of a genetically encoded glutathione biosensor comprising human glutaredoxin-1 linked to a redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein. By targeting this probe to the parasites' cytosol, we were able to verify its stability and responsiveness to the redox environment. Using this probe in living parasites, we further studied the effects of various redox active compounds and antimalarial drugs on the cytosolic glutathione redox potential in short, medium, and long-term experiments. Interestingly, after 24 h most antimalarial drugs, including quinolines and artemisinin derivatives, induced pronounced changes in the redox potential in pharmacologically meaningful concentrations. The chloroquine-sensitive P. falciparum 3D7 strain was generally more susceptible to these changes than the resistant Dd2 strain. We propose the hGrx1-roGFP2 probe as a reliable and most valuable tool for studying redox metabolism in living malaria parasites.
The glutathione thiol/disulfide couple is the major redox buffer in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); however, mechanisms by which it contributes to the tightly regulated redox environment of this intracellular organelle are poorly understood. The recent development of genetically encoded, ratiometric, single green fluorescent protein-based redox-sensitive (roGFP) sensors adjusted for more oxidative environments enables non-invasive measurement of the ER redox environment in living cells. In turn, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensors based on two fluorophore probes represent an alternative strategy for ratiometric signal acquisition. In previous work, we described the FRET-based redox sensor CY-RL7 with a relatively high midpoint redox potential of −143 mV, which is required for monitoring glutathione potentials in the comparatively high oxidative environment of the ER. Here, the efficacy of the CY-RL7 probe was ascertained in the cytosol and ER of live cells with fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The sensor was found to be fully reduced at steady state in the cytosol and became fully oxidized in response to treatment with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene, a depletor of reduced glutathione (GSH). In contrast, the probe was strongly oxidized (88%) upon expression in the ER of cultured cells. We also examined the responsiveness of the ER sensor to perturbations in cellular glutathione homeostasis. We observed that the reductive level of the FRET sensor was increased two-fold to about 28% in cells pretreated with N-acetylcysteine, a substrate for GSH synthesis. Finally, we evaluated the responsiveness of CY-RL7 and roGFP1-iL to various perturbations of cellular glutathione homeostasis to address the divergence in the specificity of these two probes. Together, the present data generated with genetically encoded green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based glutathione probes highlight the complexity of the ER redox environment and indicate that the ER glutathione pool may be more oxidized than is currently considered.
live cell imaging; endoplasmic reticulum; redox-sensitive probe; green fluorescent protein; glutathione; Förster resonance energy transfer
Recent studies have implicated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in regulating hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV), but controversy exists regarding whether hypoxia increases or decreases ROS generation.
This study tested the hypothesis that hypoxia induces redox changes that differ among sub-cellular compartments in pulmonary (PASMC) and systemic (SASMC) smooth muscle cells.
Methods and Results
We employed a novel, redox-sensitive, ratiometric fluorescent protein sensor (RoGFP) to assess the effects of hypoxia on redox signaling in cultured PASMC and SASMC. Using genetic targeting sequences, RoGFP was expressed in the cytosol (Cyto-RoGFP), the mitochondrial matrix (Mito-RoGFP), or the mitochondrial inter-membrane space (IMS-RoGFP), allowing assessment of oxidant signaling in distinct intracellular compartments. Superfusion of PASMC or SASMC with hypoxic media increased oxidation of both Cyto-RoGFP and IMS-RoGFP. However, hypoxia decreased oxidation of Mito-RoGFP in both cell types. The hypoxia-induced oxidation of Cyto-RoGFP was attenuated through the over-expression of cytosolic catalase in PASMC.
These results indicate that hypoxia causes a decrease in non-specific ROS generation in the matrix compartment, while it increases regulated ROS production in the IMS, which diffuses to the cytosol of both PASMC and SASMC.
Mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; RoGFP; hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
Background: The toxicity of many xenobiotic compounds is believed to involve oxidative injury to cells. Direct assessment of mechanistic events involved in xenobiotic-induced oxidative stress is not easily achievable. Development of genetically encoded probes designed for monitoring intracellular redox changes represents a methodological advance with potential applications in toxicological studies.
Objective: We tested the utility of redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein (roGFP)–based redox sensors for monitoring real-time intracellular redox changes induced by xenobiotics in toxicological studies.
Methods: roGFP2, a reporter of the glutathione redox potential (EGSH), was used to monitor EGSH in cultured human airway epithelial cells (BEAS-2B cells) undergoing exposure to 0.15–1.0 ppm ozone (O3). Cells were imaged in real time using a custom-built O3 exposure system coupled to a confocal microscope.
Results: O3 exposure induced a dose- and time-dependent increase of the cytosolic EGSH. Additional experiments confirmed that roGFP2 is not directly oxidized, but properly equilibrates with the glutathione redox couple: Inhibition of endogenous glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1) disrupted roGFP2 responses to O3, and a Grx1-roGFP2 fusion protein responded more rapidly to O3 exposure. Selenite-induced up-regulation of GPx (glutathione peroxidase) expression–enhanced roGFP2 responsiveness to O3, suggesting that (hydro)peroxides are intermediates linking O3 exposure to glutathione oxidation.
Conclusion: Exposure to O3 induces a profound increase in the cytosolic EGSH of airway epithelial cells that is indicative of an oxidant-dependent impairment of glutathione redox homeostasis. These studies demonstrate the utility of using genetically encoded redox reporters in making reliable assessments of cells undergoing exposure to xenobiotics with strong oxidizing properties.
glutathione; human airway epithelial cells; imaging; intracellular; oxidative stress; ozone; NADPH; redox; roGFP
Using Arabidopsis plants Col-0 and vtc2 transformed with a redox sensitive green fluorescent protein, (c-roGFP) and (m-roGFP), we investigated the effects of a progressive water stress and re-watering on the redox status of the cytosol and the mitochondria. Our results establish that water stress affects redox status differently in these two compartments, depending on phenotype and leaf age, furthermore we conclude that ascorbate plays a pivotal role in mediating redox status homeostasis and that Col-0 Arabidopsis subjected to water stress increase the synthesis of ascorbate suggesting that ascorbate may play a role in buffering changes in redox status in the mitochondria and the cytosol, with the presumed buffering capacity of ascorbate being more noticeable in young compared with mature leaves. Re-watering of water-stressed plants was paralleled by a return of both the redox status and ascorbate to the levels of well-watered plants. In contrast to the effects of water stress on ascorbate levels, there were no significant changes in the levels of glutathione, thereby suggesting that the regeneration and increase in ascorbate in water-stressed plants may occur by other processes in addition to the regeneration of ascorbate via the glutathione. Under water stress in vtc2 lines it was observed stronger differences in redox status in relation to leaf age, than due to water stress conditions compared with Col-0 plants. In the vtc2 an increase in DHA was observed in water-stressed plants. Furthermore, this work confirms the accuracy and sensitivity of the roGFP1 biosensor as a reporter for variations in water stress-associated changes in redox potentials.
Arabidopsis thaliana; ascorbate; Col-0; cytosolic roGFP1; glutathione; leaf redox status; mitochondrial roGFP1; recovery,vtc2; water stress
Pathological endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is tightly linked to the accumulation of reactive oxidants, which can be both upstream and downstream of ER stress. Accordingly, detrimental intracellular stress signals are amplified through establishment of a vicious cycle. An increasing number of human diseases are characterized by tissue atrophy in response to ER stress and oxidative injury. Experimental monitoring of stress-induced, time-resolved changes in ER reduction-oxidation (redox) states is therefore important. Organelle-specific examination of redox changes has been facilitated by the advent of genetically encoded, fluorescent probes, which can be targeted to different subcellular locations by means of specific amino acid extensions. These probes include redox-sensitive green fluorescent proteins (roGFPs) and the yellow fluorescent protein-based redox biosensor HyPer. In the case of roGFPs, variants with known specificity toward defined redox couples are now available. Here, we review the experimental framework to measure ER redox changes using ER-targeted fluorescent biosensors. Advantages and drawbacks of plate-reader and microscopy-based measurements are discussed, and the power of these techniques demonstrated in the context of selected cell culture models for ER stress.
endoplasmic reticulum; endoplasmic reticulum stress; glutathione; green fluorescent protein; hydrogen peroxide; unfolded protein response
Many essential cellular processes are affected by transmembrane H+ gradients and intracellular pH (pHi). The research of such metabolic events calls for a non-invasive method to monitor pHi within individual subcellular compartments. We present a novel confocal microscopy approach for the determination of organellar pHi in living cells expressing pH-dependent ratiometric fluorescent proteins. Unlike conventional intensity-based fluorometry, our method relies on emission wavelength scans at single-organelle resolution to produce wavelength-based pH estimates both accurate and robust to low-signal artifacts. Analyses of Ato1p-pHluorin and Ato1p-mCherry yeast cells revealed previously unreported wavelength shifts in pHluorin emission which, together with ratiometric mCherry, allowed for high-precision quantification of actual physiological pH values and evidenced dynamic pHi changes throughout the different stages of yeast colony development. Additionally, comparative pH quantification of Ato1p-pHluorin and Met17p-pHluorin cells implied the existence of a significant pHi gradient between peripheral and internal cytoplasm of cells from colonies occurring in the ammonia-producing alkali developmental phase. Results represent a step forward in the study of pHi regulation and subcellular metabolic functions beyond the scope of this study.
Redox environments are of particular interest, especially in the mitochondria with its highly reducing environment and its role as the central processing unit of apoptosis. Monitoring of mitochondrial redox environments is crucial to the study of apoptotic disorders. Reporting of the thiol/disulfide status in live cells was made possible with the development of redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein (roGFP). We aim to develop a red version redox-sensitive fluorescent protein (roRFP). Expanding the array of redox-sensitive proteins with a red version will enable simultaneous visualization of multiple reducing intracellular compartments. mKeima is a monomeric red fluorescent protein that absorbs light maximally at 440nm and emits red light at 620nm. This large Stokes shift is dramatically decreased in acidic environments. By following protocol similar to that used in the development of roGFP, surface residues at key positions were changed to cysteines and random mutagenesis was performed on varying excitation species of mKeima. Mutants were screened and a ratiometric variant of mKeima was identified (roRFP2) which exhibits changes in its spectral properties as a result of changes in the thiol/disulfide equilibrium. Preliminary fluorescence spectroscopy measurements of roRFP2 indicate a highly reducing redox potential of −330mV indicating it may be a useful probe in reducing subcellular compartments such as mitochondria or in the cytoplasm. By employing vector recombination of shuttle vector PYX142, we successfully targeted roRFP2 in vivo to the mitochondria and cytoplasm of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Expression of roRFP2 was visualized using fluorescence microscopy. Thus, through mutagenesis and residue substitution we successfully created a red version redox sensitive biosensor that tested effectively as a ratiometric indicator and expressed in the mitochondria and cytoplasm of S. cerevisiae. Moreover, the redox potential of roRFP2 is significantly more negative than the widely used roGFPs.
A highly specific, high throughput-amenable bacterial biosensor for chemically induced cellular oxidation was developed using constitutively expressed redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein roGFP2 in E. coli (E. coli-roGFP2). Disulfide formation between two key cysteine residues of roGFP2 was assessed using a double-wavelength ratiometric approach. This study demonstrates that only a few minutes were required to detect oxidation using E. coli-roGFP2, in contrast to conventional bacterial oxidative stress sensors. Cellular oxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide, menadione, sodium selenite, zinc pyrithione, triphenyltin and naphthalene became detectable after 10 seconds and reached the maxima between 80 to 210 seconds, contrary to Cd2+, Cu2+, Pb2+, Zn2+ and sodium arsenite, which induced the oxidation maximum immediately. The lowest observable effect concentrations (in ppm) were determined as 1.0 × 10−7 (arsenite), 1.0 × 10−4 (naphthalene), 1.0 × 10−4 (Cu2+), 3.8 × 10−4 (H2O2), 1.0 × 10−3 (Cd2+), 1.0 × 10−3 (Zn2+), 1.0 × 10−2 (menadione), 1.0 (triphenyltin), 1.56 (zinc pyrithione), 3.1 (selenite) and 6.3 (Pb2+), respectively. Heavy metal-induced oxidation showed unclear response patterns, whereas concentration-dependent sigmoid curves were observed for other compounds. In vivo GSH content and in vitro roGFP2 oxidation assays together with E. coli-roGFP2 results suggest that roGFP2 is sensitive to redox potential change and thiol modification induced by environmental stressors. Based on redox-sensitive technology, E. coli-roGFP2 provides a fast comprehensive detection system for toxicants that induce cellular oxidation.
oxidative biosensor; redox-sensitive GFP; ratiometric measurement; ROS; environmental stressors
Green florescent protein (GFP) variants that are sensitive to changes in pH are invaluable reagents for the analysis of protein dynamics associated with both endo- and exocytotic vesicular trafficking. Ratiometric pHluorin is a GFP variant that displays a bimodal excitation spectrum with peaks at 395 and 475 nm and an emission maximum at 509 nm. Upon acidification, pHluorin excitation at 395 nm decreases with a corresponding increase in the excitation at 475 nm. GFP2, a GFP variant that contains mammalianized codons and the folding enhancing mutation F64L, displays ~8-fold higher florescence compared to pHluorin upon excitation at 395 nm. Using GFP2 as a template, an enhanced ratiometric pHluorin (pHluorin2) construct was developed to contain fully mammalianized codons, the F64L mutation and ten of the thirteen pHluorin-specific mutations. As a result, pHluorin2 displays markedly higher florescence when compared to pHluorin while maintaining the ratiometric pH-sensitivity. Unlike native pHluorin, pHluorin2 expressed in the ligand-binding domain of the parathyroid hormone 1 receptor is readily detectable by confocal microscopy and displays a marked increase in florescence upon ligand-induced endocytosis to intracellular vesicles. Thus, pHluorin2’s enhanced florescence while sustaining ratiometric pH-sensitivity represents a significant improvement for this methodological approach.
Peroxisomes are capable of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, but their contribution to cellular redox balance is not well understood. This study demonstrates that peroxisomes and mitochondria functionally interact via ROS signaling, suggesting a potential broader role for the peroxisome in cellular aging and the initiation and progression of age-related diseases.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are at once unsought by-products of metabolism and critical regulators of multiple intracellular signaling cascades. In nonphotosynthetic eukaryotic cells, mitochondria are well-investigated major sites of ROS generation and related signal initiation. Peroxisomes are also capable of ROS generation, but their contribution to cellular oxidation–reduction (redox) balance and signaling events are far less well understood. In this study, we use a redox-sensitive variant of enhanced green fluorescent protein (roGFP2-PTS1) to monitor the state of the peroxisomal matrix in mammalian cells. We show that intraperoxisomal redox status is strongly influenced by environmental growth conditions. Furthermore, disturbances in peroxisomal redox balance, although not necessarily correlated with the age of the organelle, may trigger its degradation. We also demonstrate that the mitochondrial redox balance is perturbed in catalase-deficient cells and upon generation of excess ROS inside peroxisomes. Peroxisomes are found to resist oxidative stress generated elsewhere in the cell but are affected when the burden originates within the organelle. These results suggest a potential broader role for the peroxisome in cellular aging and the initiation of age-related degenerative disease.
Accurate measurement of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis is crucial to understanding the molecular basis of synaptic transmission. The fusion of a pH-sensitive GFP (pHluorin) to various synaptic vesicle proteins has allowed the study of synaptic vesicle recycling in real-time. Two such probes, synaptopHluorin and sypHy have been imaged at synapses of hippocampal neurons in culture. The combination of these reporters with techniques for molecular interference, such as RNAi allows for the study of molecules involved in synaptic vesicle recycling. Here we describe methods for the culture and transfection of hippocampal neurons, imaging of pHluorin-based probes at synapses and analysis of pHluorin signals down to the resolution of individual synaptic vesicles.
Hippocampal synapses; neurons; synaptic vesicle; sypHy; synaptopHluorin; endocytosis; exocytosis; imaging
Pyocyanin (N-methyl-1-hydroxyphenazine), a redox-active virulence factor produced by the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is known to compromise mucociliary clearance. Exposure of human bronchial epithelial cells to pyocyanin increased the rate of cellular release of H2O2 3-fold above the endogenous H2O2 production. Real-time measurements of the redox-potential of the cytosolic compartment using the redox sensor roGFP1 showed that pyocyanin (100 μM) oxidized the cytosol from a resting value of -318 ± 5 mV by 48.0 ± 4.6 mV within 2 hours; a comparable oxidation was induced by 100 μM H2O2. While resting Cl- secretion was slightly activated by pyocyanin (to 10% of maximal currents), forskolin-stimulated Cl- secretion was inhibited by 86%. The decline was linearly related to the cytosolic redox potential (1.8% inhibition/mV oxidation). CF bronchial epithelial cells homozygous for ΔF508 CFTR failed to secrete Cl- in response to pyocyanin or H2O2 indicating that these oxidants specifically target CFTR and not other Cl- conductances. Treatment with pyocyanin also decreased total cellular glutathione levels to 62% and cellular ATP levels to 46% after 24 hours. We conclude that pyocyanin is a key factor that redox cycles in the cytosol, generates H2O2, depletes glutathione and ATP, and impairs CFTR function in Pseudomonas infected lungs.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Pyocyanin; Hydrogen peroxide; Oxidative stress; Intracellular redox potential; CFTR; Chloride ion transport; Cystic fibrosis; Glutathione
Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can function as redox-active signaling messengers, whereas high levels of ROS induce cellular damage. Menadione generates ROS through redox cycling, and high concentrations trigger cell death. Previous work suggests that menadione triggers cytochrome c release from mitochondria, while other studies implicate activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition poreas the mediator of cell death. We investigated menadione-induced cell death in genetically modified cells lacking specific death-associated proteins. In cardiomyocytes, oxidant stress was assessed using the redox sensor RoGFP, expressed in the cytosol or the mitochondrial matrix. Menadione elicited rapid oxidation in both compartments, while it decreased mitochondrial potential and triggered cytochrome c redistribution to the cytosol. Cell death was attenuated by N-acetyl cysteine and exogenous glutathione (GSH), or by over-expression of cytosolic or mitochondria-targeted catalase. By contrast, no protection was observed in cells over-expressing Cu, Zn-SOD or MnSOD. Over-expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-XLprotected against staurosporine-induced cell death, but it failed to confer protection against menadione. Genetic deletion of Bax and Bak, cytochrome c, cyclophilin D or caspase-9 conferred no protection against menadione-induced cell death. However, cells lacking PARP-1 showed a significant decrease in menadione-induced cell death. Thus, menadione induces cell death through the generation of oxidant stress in multiple subcellular compartments, yet cytochromec, Bax/Bak, caspase-9 and cyclophilin D are dispensable for cell death in this model. These studies suggest that multiple redundant cell death pathways are activated by menadione, but that PARP plays an essential role in mediating each of them.
Reactive oxygen species; apoptosis; mitochondria; redox cycling agents; RoGFP
There is currently much interest in factors that affect redox chemistries within phagosomes of macrophages and dendritic cells. In addition to the antimicrobial role of reactive oxygen species generation within phagosomes, accumulating evidence suggests that phagosomal redox chemistries influence other phagosomal functions such as macromolecular degradation and antigen processing. Whilst the redox chemistries within many sub-cellular compartments are being heavily scrutinized with the increasing use of fluorescent probe technologies, there is a paucity of tools to assess redox conditions within phagosomes. Hence the systems that control redox homeostasis in these unique environments remain poorly defined. This review highlights current redox-sensitive probes that can measure oxidative or reductive activity in phagosomes and discusses their suitability and limitations of use. Probes that are easily targeted to the phagosome by using established approaches are emphasized.
•A review of redox probes and their use in macrophage and dendritic cell phagosomes.•Techniques that allow for phagosomal-specific redox measurements are highlighted.•Advantages and caveats of the most commonly used redox probes are included.
Redox; Phagosome; Probes; Macrophage; Dendritic cell
Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been implicated in the pathology of many conditions, including cardiovascular, inflammatory and degenerative diseases, aging, muscular dystrophy, and muscle fatigue. NADPH oxidases (Nox) have recently gained attention as an important source of ROS involved in redox signaling. However, our knowledge of the source of ROS has been limited by the relatively impoverished array of tools available to study them and the limitations of all imaging probes to provide meaningful spatial resolution. By linking redox-sensitive GFP (roGFP) to the Nox organizer protein, p47phox, we have developed a redox sensitive protein to specifically assess Nox activity (p47-roGFP). Stimulation of murine macrophages with endotoxin resulted in rapid, reversible oxidation of p47-roGFP. In murine skeletal muscle, both passive stretch and repetitive electrical stimulation resulted in oxidation of p47-roGFP. The oxidation of p47-roGFP in both macrophages and skeletal muscle was blocked by a Nox specific peptide inhibitor. Furthermore, expression of p47-roGFP in p47phox deficient cells restored Nox activity. As Nox has been linked to pathological redox signaling, our newly developed Nox biosensor will allow for the direct assessment of Nox activity and the development of therapeutic Nox inhibitors.
The pH is an important parameter controlling many metabolic and signalling pathways in living cells. Recombinant fluorescent pH indicators (pHluorins) have come into vogue for monitoring cellular pH. They are derived from the most popular Aequorea victoria GFP (Av-GFP). Here, we present a novel fluorescent pH reporter protein from the orange seapen Ptilosarcus gurneyi (Pt-GFP) and compare its properties with pHluorins for expression and use in plants.
pHluorins have a higher pH-sensitivity. However, Pt-GFP has a broader pH-responsiveness, an excellent dynamic ratio range and a better acid stability. We demonstrate how Pt-GFP expressing Arabidopsis thaliana report cytosolic pH-clamp and changes of cytosolic pH in the response to anoxia and salt-stress.
Pt-GFP appears to be the better choice when used for in vivo-recording of cellular pH in plants.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) survives under oxidatively hostile environments encountered inside host phagocytes. To protect itself from oxidative stress, Mtb produces millimolar concentrations of mycothiol (MSH), which functions as a major cytoplasmic redox buffer. Here, we introduce a novel system for real-time imaging of mycothiol redox potential (EMSH) within Mtb cells during infection. We demonstrate that coupling of Mtb MSH-dependent oxidoreductase (mycoredoxin-1; Mrx1) to redox-sensitive GFP (roGFP2; Mrx1-roGFP2) allowed measurement of dynamic changes in intramycobacterial EMSH with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity. Using Mrx1-roGFP2, we report the first quantitative measurements of EMSH in diverse mycobacterial species, genetic mutants, and drug-resistant patient isolates. These cellular studies reveal, for the first time, that the environment inside macrophages and sub-vacuolar compartments induces heterogeneity in EMSH of the Mtb population. Further application of this new biosensor demonstrates that treatment of Mtb infected macrophage with anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs induces oxidative shift in EMSH, suggesting that the intramacrophage milieu and antibiotics cooperatively disrupt the MSH homeostasis to exert efficient Mtb killing. Lastly, we analyze the membrane integrity of Mtb cells with varied EMSH during infection and show that subpopulation with higher EMSH are susceptible to clinically relevant antibiotics, whereas lower EMSH promotes antibiotic tolerance. Together, these data suggest the importance of MSH redox signaling in modulating mycobacterial survival following treatment with anti-TB drugs. We anticipate that Mrx1-roGFP2 will be a major contributor to our understanding of redox biology of Mtb and will lead to novel strategies to target redox metabolism for controlling Mtb persistence.
Approximately 30% of the global population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Persistence of Mtb in host phagocytes depends on its ability to resist oxidant-mediated antibacterial responses. Mycothiol (MSH) is the main antioxidant that provides an abundant source of reducing equivalent, which protects Mtb from oxidative stress encountered during infection. The majority of research into redox signaling in Mtb has relied on chemical analysis of MSH in whole cell extract, which creates oxidation artifacts and prohibits dynamic imaging of MSH redox state during infection. We have successfully developed a novel and noninvasive tool based on genetically encoded redox sensitive fluorescent probes to perform real-time measurement of mycothiol redox potential (EMSH) in Mtb during infection. For the first time we reveal the EMSH of virulent and avirulent mycobacterial strains, including drug-resistant clinical isolates. We used this technology and came to the surprising conclusion that within a single infected macrophage there is heterogeneity in the redox signature of individual Mtb bacilli. Importantly, we show that anti-TB drugs accelerate oxidative stress in Mtb within infected macrophages and redox heterogeneity can contribute to emergence of drug tolerant population. These findings have implications for mycobacterial persistence following treatment with anti-TB drugs.
Redox regulation based on dithiol-disulphide interchange is an essential component of the control of chloroplast metabolism. In contrast to heterotrophic organisms, and non-photosynthetic plant tissues, chloroplast redox regulation relies on ferredoxin (Fd) reduced by the photosynthetic electron transport chain, thus being highly dependent on light. The finding of the NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase C (NTRC), a chloroplast-localized NTR with a joint thioredoxin domain, showed that NADPH is also used as source of reducing power for chloroplast redox homeostasis. Recently we have found that NTRC is also in plastids of non-photosynthetic tissues. Because these non-green plastids lack photochemical reactions, their redox homeostasis depends exclusively on NADPH produced from sugars and, thus, NTRC may play an essential role maintaining the redox homeostasis in these plastids. The fact that redox regulation occurs in any type of plastids raises the possibility that the functions of chloroplasts and non-green plastids, such as amyloplasts, are integrated to harmonize the growth of the different organs of the plant. To address this question, we generated Arabidopsis plants the redox homeostasis of which is recovered exclusively in chloroplasts, by leaf-specific expression of NTRC in the ntrc mutant, or exclusively in amyloplasts, by root-specific expression of NTRC. The analysis of these plants suggests that chloroplasts exert a pivotal role on plant growth, as expected because chloroplasts constitute the major source of nutrients and energy, derived from photosynthesis, for growth of heterotrophic tissues. However, NTRC deficiency causes impairment of auxin synthesis and lateral root formation. Interestingly, recovery of redox homeostasis of chloroplasts, but not of amyloplasts, was sufficient to restore wild type levels of lateral roots, showing the important signaling function of chloroplasts for the development of heterotrophic organs.
auxin; lateral root; plastid; redox regulation; thioredoxin reductase
We report the optimization of a novel redox-sensitive probe with enhanced dynamic range and an exceptionally well-positioned oxidative midpoint redox potential. The present work characterizes factors that contribute to the improved Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) performance of this green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based redox sensor. The α-helical linker, which separates the FRET donor and acceptor, has been extended in the new probe and leads to a decreased FRET efficiency in the linker’s reduced, ‘FRET-off’ state. Unexpectedly, the FRET efficiency is increased in the new linker’s oxidized, ‘FRET-on’ state compared with the parent probe, in spite of the longer linker sequence. The combination of a lowered baseline ‘FRET-off’ and an increased ‘FRET-on’ signal significantly improves the dynamic range of the probe for a more robust discrimination of its reduced and oxidized linker states. Mutagenesis of the cysteine residues within the α-helix linker reveals the importance of the fourth, C-terminal cysteine and the relative insignificance of the second cysteine in forming the disulfide bridge to clamp the linker into the high-FRET, oxidized state. To further optimize the performance of the redox probe, various cyan fluorescent protein (CFP)/yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) FRET pairs, placed at opposite ends of the improved redox linker (RL7), were quantitatively compared and exchanged. We found that the CyPet/YPet and ECFP/YPet FRET pairs when attached to RL7 do not function well as sensitive redox probes due to a strong tendency to form heterodimers, which disrupt the α-helix. However, monomeric versions of CyPet and YPet (mCyPet and mYPet) eliminate dimerization and restore redox sensitivity of the probe. The best performing probe, ECFP-RL7-EYFP, exhibits an approximately six-fold increase in FRET efficiency in vitro when passing from the oxidized to the reduced state. We determined the midpoint redox potential of the probe to be −143 ± 6 mV, which is ideal for measuring glutathione (GSH/GSSG) redox potentials in oxidative compartments of mammalian cells (e.g. the endoplasmic reticulum).
redox-sensitive linker; green fluorescent protein variants; genetically encoded biosensor; glutathione; redox potential; Förster resonance energy transfer
Background: Toxicological studies have correlated inflammatory effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) with its organic constituents, such as the organic electrophile 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ).
Objective: To elucidate the mechanisms involved in 1,2-NQ–induced inflammatory responses, we examined the role of oxidant stress in 1,2-NQ–induced expression of inflammatory and adaptive genes in a human airway epithelial cell line.
Methods: We measured cytosolic redox status and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in living cells using the genetically encoded green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based fluorescent indicators roGFP2 and HyPer, respectively. Expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA was measured in BEAS-2B cells exposed to 1,2-NQ for 1–4 hr. Catalase overexpression and metabolic inhibitors were used to determine the role of redox changes and H2O2 in 1,2-NQ–induced gene expression.
Results: Cells expressing roGFP2 and HyPer showed a rapid loss of redox potential and an increase in H2O2 of mitochondrial origin following exposure to 1,2-NQ. Overexpression of catalase diminished the H2O2-dependent signal but not the 1,2-NQ–induced loss of reducing potential. Catalase overexpression and inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration diminished elevations in IL-8 and COX-2 induced by exposure to 1,2-NQ, but potentiated HO-1 mRNA levels in BEAS cells.
Conclusion: These data show that 1,2-NQ exposure induces mitochondrial production of H2O2 that mediates the expression of inflammatory genes, but not the concurrent loss of reducing redox potential in BEAS cells. 1,2-NQ exposure also causes marked expression of HO-1 that appears to be enhanced by suppression of H2O2. These findings shed light into the oxidant-dependent events that underlie cellular responses to environmental electrophiles.
confocal microscopy; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondrial dysfunction; oxidative stress; quinones; reactive oxygen species; real-time imaging; ROS
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its fusion proteins have been used extensively to monitor and analyze a wide range of biological processes. However, proteolytic cleavage often removes GFP from its fusion proteins, not only causing a poor signal-to-noise ratio of the fluorescent images but also leading to wrong interpretations.
Here, we report that the M153R mutation in a ratiometric pH-sensitive GFP, pHluorin, significantly stabilizes its fusion products while the mutant protein still retaining a marked pH dependence of 410/470 nm excitation ratio of fluorescence intensity. The M153R mutation increases the brightness in vivo but does not affect the 410/470-nm excitation ratios at various pH values.
Since the pHluorin(M153R) probe can be directly fused to the target proteins, we suggest that it will be a potentially powerful tool for the measurement of local pH in living cells as well as for the analysis of subcellular localization of target proteins.
H2O2 acts as a signaling molecule by oxidizing critical thiol groups on redox-regulated target proteins. To explain the efficiency and selectivity of H2O2-based signaling, it has been proposed that oxidation of target proteins may be facilitated by H2O2-scavenging peroxidases. Recently, a peroxidase-based protein oxidation relay has been identified in yeast, namely the oxidation of the transcription factor Yap1 by the peroxidase Orp1. It has remained unclear whether the protein oxidase function of Orp1 is a singular adaptation or whether it may represent a more general principle. Here we show that Orp1 is in fact not restricted to oxidizing Yap1 but can also form a highly efficient redox relay with the oxidant target protein roGFP (redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein) in mammalian cells. Orp1 mediates near quantitative oxidation of roGFP2 by H2O2, and the Orp1-roGFP2 redox relay effectively converts physiological H2O2 signals into measurable fluorescent signals in living cells. Furthermore, the oxidant relay phenomenon is not restricted to Orp1 as the mammalian peroxidase Gpx4 also mediates oxidation of proximal roGFP2 in living cells. Together, these findings support the concept that certain peroxidases harbor an intrinsic and powerful capacity to act as H2O2-dependent protein thiol oxidases when they are recruited into proximity of oxidizable target proteins.