Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Regulation of S-formylglutathione hydrolase by the anti-aging gene klotho

Yuechi Xu and Zhongjie Sun _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:88259-88275. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19111

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Yuechi Xu1 and Zhongjie Sun1

1 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Correspondence to:

Zhongjie Sun, email:

Keywords: klotho, receptor, binding, S-formylglutathione hydrolase, GSH, Gerotarget

Received: January 10, 2017 Accepted: June 26, 2017 Published: July 08, 2017


Klotho is an aging-suppressor gene. The purpose of this study is to investigate the binding sites (receptors) and function of short-form Klotho (Skl). We showed that Skl physically bound to multiple proteins. We found physical and functional interactions between Skl and S-formylglutathione hydrolase (FGH), a key enzyme in the generation of the major cellular anti-oxidant GSH, using co-immunoprecipitation-coupled mass spectrometry. We further confirmed the colocalization of Skl and FGH around the nucleus in kidney cells using immunofluorescent staining. Skl positively regulated FGH gene expression via Kid3 transcription factor. Overexpression of Skl increased FGH mRNA and protein expression while silencing of Skl attenuated FGH mRNA and protein expression. Klotho gene mutation suppressed FGH expression in red blood cells and kidneys resulting in anemia and kidney damage in mice. Overexpression of Skl increased total GSH production and the GSH/GSSG ratio, an index of anti-oxidant capacity, leading to a decrease in intracellular H2O2 and superoxide levels. The antioxidant activity of Skl was eliminated by silencing of FGH, indicating that Skl increased GSH via FGH. Interestingly, Skl directly interacted with FGH and regulated its function. Site-directed mutagenesis of the N-glycan-modified residues in Skl abolished its antioxidant activity, suggesting that these N-glycan moietiesare important features that interact with FGH. Specific mutation of Asp to Ala at site 285 resulted in a loss of anti-oxidant activity of Skl, suggesting that N-glycosylation at site 285 is the key mechanism that determines Skl activity. Therefore, this study demonstrates, for the first time, that Skl regulates anti-oxidant GSH generation via interaction with FGH through N-glycosylation.

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