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PEROXIREDOXINS - Novel mediators of cellular timekeeping

  • Biological clocks exist across all life forms and serve to coordinate organismal physiology with periodic environmental changes. The underlying mechanism of these clocks is predominantly based on cellular transcription-translation feedback loops in which clock proteins mediate the periodic expression of numerous genes. However, recent studies point to the existence of a conserved timekeeping mechanism independent of cellular transcription and translation, but based on cellular metabolism. These metabolic clocks were concluded based upon the observation of circadian and ultradian oscillations in the level of hyperoxidized peroxiredoxin proteins. Peroxiredoxins are enzymes found almost ubiquitously throughout life. Originally identified as H2O2 scavengers, recent studies show that peroxiredoxins can transfer oxidation to, and thereby regulate, a wide range of cellular proteins. Thus, it is conceivable that peroxiredoxins, using H2O2 as the primary signaling molecule, have the potential to integrate and coordinate much of cellular physiology and behavior with metabolic changes. Nonetheless, it remained unclear if peroxiredoxins are passive reporters of metabolic clock activity or active determinants of cellular timekeeping. Budding yeast possess an ultradian metabolic clock termed the Yeast Metabolic Cycle (YMC). The most obvious feature of the YMC is a high amplitude oscillation in oxygen consumption. Like circadian clocks, the YMC temporally compartmentalizes cellular processes (e.g. metabolism) and coordinates cellular programs such as gene expression and cell division. The YMC also exhibits oscillations in the level of hyperoxidized peroxiredoxin proteins. In this study, I used the YMC clock model to investigate the role of peroxiredoxins in cellular timekeeping, as well as the coordination of cell division with the metabolic clock. I observed that cytosolic 2-Cys peroxiredoxins are essential for robust metabolic clock function. I provide direct evidence for oscillations in cytosolic H2O2 levels, as well as cyclical changes in oxidation state of a peroxiredoxin and a model peroxiredoxin target protein during the YMC. I noted two distinct metabolic states during the YMC: low oxygen consumption (LOC) and high oxygen consumption (HOC). I demonstrate that thiol-disulfide oxidation and reduction are necessary for switching between LOC and HOC. Specifically, a thiol reductant promotes switching to HOC, whilst a thiol oxidant prevents switching to HOC, forcing cells to remain in LOC. Transient peroxiredoxin inactivation triggered rapid and premature switching from LOC to HOC. Furthermore, I show that cell division is normally synchronized with the YMC and that deletion of typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxins leads to complete uncoupling of cell division from metabolic cycling. Moreover, metabolic oscillations are crucial for regulating cell cycle entry and exit. Intriguingly, switching to HOC is crucial for initiating cell cycle entry whilst switching to LOC is crucial for cell cycle completion and exit. Consequently, forcing cells to remain in HOC by application of a thiol reductant leads to multiple rounds of cell cycle entry despite failure to complete the preceding cell cycle. On the other hand, forcing cells to remain in LOC by treating with a thiol oxidant prevents initiation of cell cycle entry. In conclusion, I propose that peroxiredoxins – by controlling metabolic cycles, which are in turn crucial for regulating the progression through cell cycle – play a central role in the coordination of cellular metabolism with cell division. This proposition, thus, positions peroxiredoxins as active players in the cellular timekeeping mechanism.

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Author:Prince Saforo AmponsahORCiD
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-58673
Advisor:Bruce MorganORCiD
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2020/01/23
Year of Publication:2020
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2020/01/15
Date of the Publication (Server):2020/01/23
Number of page:VIII, 132
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Biologie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)