Characterization of selenoprotein P as a selenium supply protein

Yoshiro Saito, Kazuhiko Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium (Se) is well known to be essential for cell culture when using a serum-free medium, but not when a medium containing serum is used. This finding suggests that serum contains some usable form of Se. To identify the Se-supplier, T-lymphoma (Jurkat) cells were cultured for 3 days in the presence of human serum immunodepleted of Se-containing serum protein, selenoprotein P or extracellular glutathione peroxidase. The Se-dependent enzyme activities (glutathione peroxidases and thioredoxin reductase) and Se content within the cells markedly decreased only when cultured with selenoprotein P-depleted serum. Compared with other Se-containing proteins, the addition of purified selenoprotein P to the selenoprotein P-depleted serum or a serum-free medium was the most effective for the recovery of cellular glutathione peroxidase activity (index of Se status). These results suggest that selenoprotein P functions as a Se-supply protein, delivering Se to the cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5746-5751
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Selenium
  • Selenoprotein


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