Intracellular redox homeostasis is crucial for many cellular functions but accurate measurements of cellular compartment-specific redox states remain technically challenging. To better characterize redox control in the nucleus, we targeted a yellow fluorescent protein-based redox sensor (rxYFP) to the nucleus of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Parallel analyses of the redox state of nucleus-rxYFP and cytosol-rxYFP allowed us to monitor distinctively dynamic glutathione (GSH) redox changes within these two compartments under a given condition. We observed that the nuclear GSH redox environment is highly reducing and similar to the cytosol under steady-state conditions. Furthermore, these sensors are able to detect redox variations specific for their respective compartments in glutathione reductase (Glr1) and thioredoxin pathway (Trr1, Trx1, Trx2) mutants that have altered subcellular redox environments. Our mutant redox data provide in vivo evidence that glutathione and the thioredoxin redox systems have distinct but overlapping functions in controlling subcellular redox environments. We also monitored the dynamic response of nucleus-rxYFP and cytosol-rxYFP to GSH depletion and to exogenous low and high doses of H2O2 bursts. These observations indicate a rapid and almost simultaneous oxidation of both nucleus-rxYFP and cytosol-rxYFP, highlighting the robustness of the rxYFP sensors in measuring real-time compartmental redox changes. Taken together, our data suggest that the highly reduced yeast nuclear and cytosolic redox states are maintained independently to some extent and under distinct but subtle redox regulation. Nucleus- and cytosol-rxYFP register compartment-specific localized redox fluctuations that may involve exchange of reduced and/or oxidized glutathione between these two compartments. Finally, we confirmed that GSH depletion has profound effects on mitochondrial genome stability but little effect on nuclear genome stability, thereby emphasizing that the critical requirement for GSH during growth is linked to a mitochondria-dependent process.
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