Peroxiredoxins are ubiquitous thiol-dependent peroxidases that represent a major antioxidant defense in both prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic organisms. Among the six vertebrate peroxiredoxin isoforms, peroxiredoxin-5 (PRDX5) appears to be a particular peroxiredoxin, displaying a different catalytic mechanism, as well as a wider substrate specificity and subcellular distribution. In addition, several evolutionary peculiarities, such as loss of subcellular targeting in certain species, have been reported for this enzyme.
Western blotting analyses of 2-cys PRDXs (PRDX1–5) failed to identify the PRDX5 isoform in chicken tissue homogenates. Thereafter, via in silico analysis of PRDX5 orthologs, we went on to show that the PRDX5 gene is conserved in all branches of the amniotes clade, with the exception of aves. Further investigation of bird genomic sequences and expressed tag sequences confirmed the disappearance of the gene, though TRMT112, a gene located closely to the 5′ extremity of the PRDX5 gene, is conserved. Finally, using in ovo electroporation to overexpress the long and short forms of human PRDX5, we showed that, though the gene is lost in birds, subcellular targeting of human PRDX5 is conserved in the chick.
Further adding to the distinctiveness of this enzyme, this study reports converging evidence supporting loss of PRDX5 in aves. In-depth analysis revealed that this absence is proper to birds as PRDX5 appears to be conserved in non-avian amniotes. Finally, taking advantage of the in ovo electroporation technique, we validate the subcellular targeting of human PRDX5 in the chick embryo and bring forward this gain-of-function model as a potent way to study PRDX5 functions in vivo.