Biomol Ther.  2021 May;29(3):321-330. 10.4062/biomolther.2020.154.

Protective Role of Transduced Tat-Thioredoxin1 (Trx1) against Oxidative Stress-Induced Neuronal Cell Death via ASK1-MAPK Signal Pathway

  • 1Department of Biomedical Science and Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hallym University, Chuncheon 24252, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Research Institute of Oral Sciences, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung 25457, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Anatomy and BK21 Plus Center, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan 31538, Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea


Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the development of neuronal disorders including brain ischemic injury. Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1), a 12 kDa oxidoreductase, has anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic functions in various cells. It has been highly implicated in brain ischemic injury. However, the protective mechanism of Trx1 against hippocampal neuronal cell death is not identified yet. Using a cell permeable Tat-Trx1 protein, protective mechanism of Trx1 against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death was examined using HT-22 cells and an ischemic animal model. Transduced Tat-Trx1 markedly inhibited intracellular ROS levels, DNA fragmentation, and cell death in H 2O 2-treatment HT-22 cells. Tat-Trx1 also significantly inhibited phosphorylation of ASK1 and MAPKs in signaling pathways of HT-22 cells. In addition, Tat-Trx1 regulated expression levels of Akt, NF-κB, and apoptosis related proteins. In an ischemia animal model, Tat-Trx1 markedly protected hippocampal neuronal cell death and reduced astrocytes and microglia activation. These findings indicate that transduced Tat-Trx1 might be a potential therapeutic agent for treating ischemic injury.


Tat-Trx1; ASK1; ROS; Apoptosis; Ischemia; Protein therapy
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