Indexed on: 09 May '06Published on: 09 May '06Published in: Antioxidants & redox signaling
Oxidative folding in the endoplasmic reticulum is accomplished by a group of oxidoreductases where the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) plays a key role. Structurally, redox-active PDI domains, like many other enzymes utilizing cysteine chemistry, adopt characteristic thioredoxin folds. However, this structural unit is not necessarily associated with the redox function and the current review focuses on the interesting example of a loss-of-function PDI-like protein from the endoplasmic reticulum, ERp29. ERp29 shares a common predecessor with PDI; however in the course of divergent evolution it has lost a hallmark active site motif of redox enzymes but retained the characteristic structural fold in one of its domains. Although the functional characterization of ERp29 is far from completion, all available data point to its important role in the early secretory pathway and allow tentative categorization as a secretion factor/escort protein of a broad profile.