Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and consequent glutathione oxidation are associated with various physiological processes and diseases, including cell differentiation, senescence, and inflammation. GFP-based redox sensors provide a straight-forward approach to monitor ROS levels and glutathione oxidation within a living cell at the subcellular resolution. We utilized palmitoylated versions of cytosolic glutathione and hydrogen peroxide sensors (Grx1-roGFP2 and roGFP2-Orp1, respectively) and demonstrated a unique redox environment near biological membranes. In HeLa cells, cytosolic glutathione was practically completely reduced (EGSH/GSSG = − 333 mV) and hydrogen peroxide level was under the detectable range. In contrast, the cytoplasmic milieu near membranes of intracellular vesicles exhibited significant glutathione oxidation (EGSH/GSSG > − 256 mV) and relatively high H2O2 production, which was not observed for the plasma membrane. These vesicles colocalized with internalized EGFR, suggesting that H2O2 production and glutathione oxidation are characteristics of cytoplasmic surfaces of the endocytosed vesicles. The results visually illustrate local redox heterogeneity within the cytosol for the first time.
Hatori, Y., Inouye, S., Akagi, R., & Seyama, T. (2018). Local redox environment beneath biological membranes probed by palmitoylated-roGFP. Redox Biology, 14, 679–685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2017.11.015