Interactions of GMP with human Glrx3 and with Saccharomyces cerevisiae Grx3 and Grx4 converge in the regulation of the Gcn2 pathway
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The human monothiol glutaredoxin Glrx3 (PICOT) is ubiquitously distributed in cytoplasm and nuclei in mammalian cells. Its overexpression has been associated with the development of several types of tumors, whereas its deficiency might cause retardation in embryogenesis. Its exact biological role has not been well resolved, although a function as a chaperone distributing iron/sulfur clusters is currently accepted. Yeast humanization and the use of a mouse library have allowed us to find a new partner for PICOT: the human GMP synthase (hGMPs). Both proteins carry out collaborative functions regarding the downregulation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Gcn2 pathway under conditions of nutritional stress. Glrx3/hGMPs interact through conserved residues that bridge iron/sulfur clusters and glutathione. This mechanism is also conserved in budding yeast, whose proteins Grx3/Grx4, along with GUA1 (S. cerevisiae GMPs), also downregulate the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway. The heterologous expression of Glrx3/hGMPs efficiently complements Grx3/Grx4. Moreover, the heterologous expression of Glrx3 efficiently complements the novel participation in chronological life span that has been characterized for both Grx3 and Grx4. Our results underscore that the Glrx3/Grx3/Grx4 family presents an evolutionary and functional conservation in signaling events that is partly related to GMP function and contributes to cell life extension.IMPORTANCE Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an optimal eukaryotic microbial model to study biological processes in higher organisms despite the divergence in evolution. The molecular function of yeast glutaredoxins Grx3 and Grx4 is enormously interesting, since both proteins are required to maintain correct iron homeostasis and an efficient response to oxidative stress. The human orthologous Glrx3 (PICOT) is involved in a number of human diseases, including cancer. Our research expanded its utility to human cells. Yeast has allowed the characterization of GMP synthase as a new interacting partner for Glrx3 and also for yeast Grx3 and Grx4, the complex monothiol glutaredoxins/GMPs that participate in the downregulation of the activity of the Gcn2 stress pathway. This mechanism is conserved in yeast and humans. Here, we also show that this family of glutaredoxins, Grx3/Grx4/Glrx3, also has a function related to life extension.