Contribution of hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase to NADPH content and redox environment in the endoplasmic reticulum

Daniela Rogoff, Kelli Black, D. Randy Mcmillan, Perrin C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PD) has been considered to be a main source of NADPH in the endoplasmic reticulum. It provides reducing equivalents to 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 for in situ re-activation of glucocorticoids. H6PD null mice indeed show signs of glucocorticoid deficiency, but also suffer from a skeletal myopathy mainly affecting fast twitch muscles, in which the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. Thus, H6PD may have additional functions in muscle. Materials and methods: To determine the contribution of H6PD to total microsomal NADPH content, we measured NADPH in microsomes from liver and quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. To evaluate the effect of H6PD deficiency on microsomal thiol-disulfide redox environment, we measured reduced and oxidized glutathione and free protein thiols. Results and conclusions: H6PD deficiency decreased but did not eliminate NADPH content in liver and soleus microsomes. Thus there must be other sources of NADPH within the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum. Levels of reduced glutathione and free protein thiols were decreased in gastrocnemius muscle from null mice, indicating a more oxidative environment. Such alterations in redox environment may underlie the myopathy and UPR activation in H6PD null mice. General significance: H6PD plays a role in maintaining normal NADPH levels and redox environment inside the endoplasmic reticulum. Intrinsic differences in ER metabolism may explain the differing effects of H6PD deficiency in different tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalRedox Report
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • H6PD
  • Redox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical


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