skip to primary navigationskip to content

TriPer, an optical probe tuned to the endoplasmic reticulum tracks changes in luminal H2O2

Melo EP, Lopes C, Gollwitzer P, Lortz S, Lenzen S, Mehmeti I, Kaminski CF, Ron D, Avezov E, "TriPer, an optical probe tuned to the endoplasmic reticulum tracks changes in luminal H2O2"BMC Biol. (2017), 15(24).

DOI: 10.1186/s12915-017-0367-5 | pdf


Background: The fate of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been inferred indirectly from the activity of ER-localized thiol oxidases and peroxiredoxins, in vitro, and the consequences of their genetic manipulation, in vivo. Over the years hints have suggested that glutathione, puzzlingly abundant in the ER lumen, might have a role in reducing the heavy burden of H2O2 produced by the luminal enzymatic machinery for disulfide bond formation. However, limitations in existing organelle-targeted H2O2 probes have rendered them inert in the thiol-oxidizing ER, precluding experimental follow-up of glutathione’s role in ER H2Ometabolism.

Results: Here we report on the development of TriPer, a vital optical probe sensitive to changes in the concentration of H2O2 in the thiol-oxidizing environment of the ER. Consistent with the hypothesized contribution of oxidative protein folding to H2O2 production, ER-localized TriPer detected an increase in the luminal H2O2 signal upon induction of pro-insulin (a disulfide-bonded protein of pancreatic β-cells), which was attenuated by the ectopic expression of catalase in the ER lumen. Interfering with glutathione production in the cytosol by buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) or enhancing its localized destruction by expression of the glutathione-degrading enzyme ChaC1 in the lumen of the ER further enhanced the luminal H2O2signal and eroded β-cell viability.

Conclusions: A tri-cysteine system with a single peroxidatic thiol enables H2O2 detection in oxidizing milieux such as that of the ER. Tracking ER H2O2 in live pancreatic β-cells points to a role for glutathione in H2O2 turnover.

Keywords: Endoplasmic reticulum, Redox, H2O2 probe, Hydrogen peroxide, Glutathione, Fluorescent protein sensor, Fluorescence lifetime imaging, Live cell imaging, Pancreatic β-cells