A single protein molecule with one or more cysteine residues can occupy a plurality of unique residue and oxidation-chemotype specified proteoforms that I term oxiforms. In binary reduced or oxidised terms, one molecule with three cysteines will adopt one of eight unique oxiforms. Residue-defined sulfur chemistry endows specific oxiforms with distinct functionally-relevant biophysical properties (e.g., steric effects). Their emergent complexity means a functionally-relevant effect may only manifest when multiple cysteines are oxidised. Like how mixing colours makes new shades, combining discrete redox chemistries-colours-can create a kaleidoscope of oxiform hues. The sheer diversity of oxiforms co-existing within the human body provides a biological basis for redox heterogeneity. Of evolutionary significance, oxiforms may enable individual cells to mount a broad spectrum of responses to the same stimulus. Their biological significance, however plausible, is speculative because protein-specific oxiforms remain essentially unexplored. Excitingly, pioneering new techniques can push the field into uncharted territory by quantifying oxiforms. The oxiform concept can advance our understanding of redox-regulation in health and disease.
|Journal||BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2023|