Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.14-15, 5701-5717, 2021
Relevance of peroxiredoxins in pathogenic microorganisms
The oxidative and nitrosative responses generated by animals and plants are important defenses against infection and establishment of pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Among distinct oxidant species, hydroperoxides are a group of chemically diverse compounds that comprise small hydrophilic molecules, such as hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite, and bulky hydrophobic species, such as organic hydroperoxides. Peroxiredoxins (Prx) are ubiquitous enzymes that use a highly reactive cysteine residue to decompose hydroperoxides and can also perform other functions, like molecular chaperone and phospholipase activities, contributing to microbial protection against the host defenses. Prx are present in distinct cell compartments and, in some cases, they can be secreted to the extracellular environment. Despite their high abundance, Prx expression can be further increased in response to oxidative stress promoted by host defense systems, by treatment with hydroperoxides or by antibiotics. In consequence, some isoforms have been described as virulence factors, highlighting their importance in pathogenesis. Prx are very diverse and are classified into six different classes (Prx1-AhpC, BCP-PrxQ, Tpx, Prx5, Prx6, and AhpE) based on structural and biochemical features. Some groups are absent in hosts, while others present structural peculiarities that differentiate them from the host's isoforms. In this context, the intrinsic characteristics of these enzymes may aid the development of new drugs to combat pathogenic microorganisms. Additionally, since some isoforms are also found in the extracellular environment, Prx emerge as attractive targets for the production of diagnostic tests and vaccines.