DJ-1, the causative gene of a familial form of Parkinson's disease (PD), has been reported to undergo preferential oxidation of the cysteine residue at position 106 (Cys-106) under oxidative stress; however, details of the molecular mechanisms are not well known. In the present study, mechanisms of DJ-1 oxidation induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) were investigated by using SH-SY5Y cells. The treatment of these cells with 6-OHDA caused an obvious acidic spot sift of DJ-1 due to its oxidation. However, when catalase, which is an hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2)-removing enzyme, was added during the treatment, it failed to prevent the oxidation induced by 6-OHDA, suggesting that electrophilic p-quinone formed from 6-OHDA, but not H 2O 2, was responsible for the DJ-1 oxidation. Benzoquinone, another electrophilic p-quinone, also induced DJ-1 oxidation. The intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels were significantly decreased by 6-OHDA, irrespective of the presence or absence of catalase. The inhibition of GSH synthesis by buthionine sulfoximine resulted in a decrease in GSH levels and enhancement of DJ-1 oxidation. The pretreatment of cells with N-acetyl-cysteine prevented the loss of intracellular GSH and subsequently DJ-1 oxidation induced by 6-OHDA. Collectively, these results suggest that electrophilic p-quinone formed from 6-OHDA induces DJ-1 oxidation by decreasing intracellular GSH.
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