Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases: Relevance to Aging and Protection against Oxidative Stress

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Proteins are subject to modification by reactive oxygen species (ROS), and oxidation of specific amino acid residues can impair their biological function, leading to an alteration in cellular homeostasis. Methionine is among the amino acids the most susceptible to oxidation by almost all forms of ROS, resulting in both S and R diasteroisomeric forms of methionine sulfoxide. These modifications can be repaired specifically by the peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase A and B enzymes (MsrA and MsrB), respectively. MsrA has been detected in several organisms going from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. MsrA is tightly implicated in protection against oxidative stress and in protein maintenance, which is critical in the aging process. Several studies have shown that overexpression of MsrA led to an increased resistance against oxidative stress, while MsrA null mutants are more sensitive toward oxidative stress. Since oxidative damage is a key factor in aging, overexpression of MsrA in some organisms led to an increased life span whereas deletion of the gene led to the opposite. MsrA could also be involved, by regulating the function and/or expression of target proteins, in ROS-mediated signal transduction. In fact, changes in gene expression, including certain oxidative stress–response genes, have been observed when MsrA is overexpressed. This review elaborates on the current knowledge in the implication of the Msr system in protection against oxidative stress and aging.

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