Rodents and humans have 24–25 selenoproteins, and these proteins contain the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine, incorporated co-translationally into the peptide backbone in a series of reactions dependent on at least 6 unique gene products. In selenium (Se) deficiency, there is differential regulation of selenoprotein expression, whereby levels of some selenoproteins and their transcripts decrease dramatically in Se deficiency, but other selenoprotein transcripts are spared this decrease; the underlying mechanism, however, is not fully understood. To begin explore the genetic basis for this variation in regulation by Se status in a pilot study, we fed Se-deficient or Se-adequate diets (0.005 or 0.2 μg Se/g, respectively) for eight weeks to the eight Founder strains of the Collaborative Cross. We found rather uniform expression of selenoenzyme activity for glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) 3 in plasma, Gpx1 in red blood cells, and Gpx1, Gpx4, and thioredoxin reductase in liver. In Founder mice, Se deficiency decreased each of these activities to a similar extent. Regulation of selenoprotein transcript expression by Se status was also globally retained intact, with dramatic down-regulation of Gpx1, Selenow, and Selenoh transcripts in all 8 strains of Founder mice. These results indicate that differential regulation of selenoprotein expression by Se status is an essential aspect of Se metabolism and selenoprotein function. A few lone differences in Se regulation were observed for individual selenoproteins in this pilot study, but these differences did not single-out one strain or one selenoprotein that consistently had unique Se regulation of selenoprotein expression. These differences should be affirmed in larger studies; use of the Diversity Outbred and Collaborative Cross strains may help to better define the functions of these selenoproteins.
Sunde, R. A. (2018). Selenium regulation of selenoprotein enzyme activity and transcripts in a pilot study with Founder strains from the Collaborative Cross. PLoS ONE, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191449