2012 Volume 50 Issue 2 Pages 91-105
Peroxiredoxins possess thioredoxin or glutathione peroxidase and chaperone-like activities and thereby protect cells from oxidative insults. Recent studies, however, reveal additional functions of peroxiredoxins in gene expression and inflammation-related biological reactions such as tissue repair, parasite infection and tumor progression. Notably, peroxiredoxin 1, the major mammalian peroxiredoxin family protein, directly interacts with transcription factors such as c-Myc and NF-κB in the nucleus. Additionally, peroxiredoxin 1 is secreted from some cells following stimulation with TGF-β and other cytokines and is thus present in plasma and body fluids. Peroxiredoxin 1 is now recognized as one of the pro-inflammatory factors interacting with toll-like receptor 4, which triggers NF-κB activation and other signaling pathways to evoke inflammatory reactions. Some cancer cells release peroxiredoxin 1 to stimulate toll-like receptor 4-mediated signaling for their progression. Interestingly, peroxiredoxins expressed in protozoa and helminth may modulate host immune responses partly through toll-like receptor 4 for their survival and progression in host. Extracellular peroxiredoxin 1 and peroxiredoxin 2 are known to enhance natural killer cell activity and suppress virus-replication in cells. Peroxiredoxin 1-deficient mice show reduced antioxidant activities but also exhibit restrained tissue inflammatory reactions under some patho-physiological conditions. Novel functions of peroxiredoxins in inflammation, cancer and innate immunity are the focus of this review.