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Glutaredoxins are a family of small molecular weight proteins that have a central role in cellular redox regulation. Human GRX1 (hGRX1) has also been shown to play an integral role in copper homeostasis by regulating the redox activity of the metalated sites of copper chaperones such as ATOX1 and SOD1, and the copper efflux proteins ATP7A and ATP7B. To further elucidate the role of hGRX1 in copper homeostasis, we examined the impact of RNA interference-mediated knockdown of CG6852, a putative Drosophila orthologue of hGRX1. CG6852 shares ~41 % amino acid identity with hGRX1 and key functional domains including the metal-binding CXXC motif are conserved between the two proteins. Knockdown of CG6852 in the adult midline caused a thoracic cleft and reduced scutellum, phenotypes that were exacerbated by additional knockdown of copper uptake transporters Ctr1A and Ctr1B. Knockdown of CG6852 in the adult eye enhanced a copper-deficiency phenotype caused by Ctr1A knockdown while ubiquitous knockdown of CG6852 resulted a mild systemic copper deficiency. Therefore we conclude that CG6852 is a putative orthologue of hGRX1 and may play an important role in Drosophila copper homeostasis.
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