Glutathione is an antioxidant produced throughout the body that plays many important roles, including neutralizing unstable oxygen molecules (called oxygen free radicals), which if left unchecked can cause damage to DNA and cells. damage. Glutathione also helps repair cell damage and regulate cell proliferation, and its loss has been linked to aging, neurodegeneration and cancer. As a result, glutathione supplements are becoming increasingly popular as an over-the-counter health care method.
Recently, Kıvanç Birsoy and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulation and Genetics at The Rockefeller University in the United States discovered for the first time this nutrient sensor of a cell organelle—especially the energy factory of the cell, the mitochondria. This nutrient sensor is part of a protein that does three jobs: sensing, regulating, and transporting the antioxidant glutathione inside mitochondria, where it plays a role in inhibiting oxidative reactions and maintaining proper plays a key role in the iron content. Relevant research results were published online in the journal Science on November 2, 2023, with the title of "Autoregulatory control of mitochondrial glutathione homeostasis".
Glutathione is especially abundant in mitochondria because it is essential for mitochondrial function. The study points out, "As respiratory organelles, mitochondria produce energy. But mitochondria can also be the source of a large amount of oxidative stress, which is related to cancer, diabetes, metabolic disorders, heart and lung diseases, etc. If glutathione in mitochondria When peptide levels are not maintained accurately, all systems fail. Without glutathione, none of us can survive."
In addition to its antioxidant effects, glutathione is considered an important ligand for intracellular iron ions. Iron-sulfur cluster synthesis is critical for regulating cellular iron metabolism balance. Therefore, the authors speculate that the glutathione sensing mechanism involved in SLC25A39 also plays a role in iron metabolism in mitochondria. This work reveals a feedback regulation mechanism of glutathione balance in mitochondria. The metabolism of mitochondrial glutathione and iron changes significantly during physiological processes such as oxidative stress response and erythropoiesis.
Article source: Yuyang Liu et al. Autoregulatory control of mitochondrial glutathione homeostasis. Science, 2023, doi:10.1126/science.adf4154.
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