The interactions of 9,10-phenanthrenequinone with glyceraldehyde-3- phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a potential site for toxic actions

Chester E. Rodriguez, Jon M. Fukuto, Keiko Taguchi, John Froines, Arthur K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) catalyzes the oxidative phosphorylation of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate to 1,3-diphosphoglycerate, one of the precursors for glycolytic ATP biosynthesis. The enzyme contains an active site cysteine thiolate, which is critical for its catalytic function. As part of a continuing study of the interactions of quinones with biological systems, we have examined the susceptibility of GAPDH to inactivation by 9,10-phenanthrenequinone (9,10-PQ). In a previous study of quinone toxicity, this quinone, whose actions have been exclusively attributed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, caused a reduction in the glycolytic activity of GAPDH under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, indicating indirect and possible direct actions on this enzyme. In this study, the effects of 9,10-PQ on GAPDH were examined in detail under aerobic and anaerobic conditions so that the role of oxygen could be distinguished from the direct effects of the quinone. The results indicate that, in the presence of the reducing agent DTT, GAPDH inhibition by 9,10-PQ under aerobic conditions was mostly indirect and comparable to the direct actions of exogenously-added H2O2 on this enzyme. GAPDH was also inhibited by 9,10-PQ anaerobically, but in a somewhat more complex manner. This quinone, which is not considered an electrophile, inhibited GAPDH in a time-dependent manner, consistent with irreversible modification and comparable to the electrophilic actions of 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ). Analysis of the anaerobic inactivation kinetics for the two quinones revealed comparable inactivation rate constants (k inac), but a much lower inhibitor binding constant (Ki) for 1,4-BQ. Protection and thiol titration studies suggest that these quinones bind to the NAD+ binding site and modify the catalytic thiol from this site. Thus, 9,10-PQ inhibits GAPDH by two distinct mechanisms: through ROS generation that results in the oxidization of GAPDH thiols, and by an oxygen-independent mechanism that results in the modification of GAPDH catalytic thiols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 30
Externally publishedYes


  • 1,4-Benzoquinone
  • 9,10-Phenanthrenequinone
  • Hydrogen peroxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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