Thioredoxin reductase was discovered in the course of studies on the biosynthesis of deoxyribonucleotides in Escherichia coli. Indeed in 1964, Laurent and coworkers discovered that thioredoxin is the reducing substrate of ribonucleotide reductase, the essential enzyme catalyzing de novo synthesis of 2′-deoxyribonucleotides. This discovery prompted the search of the enzyme responsible for the recycling of oxidized thioredoxin. Thioredoxin reductase from E. coli was isolated and purified shortly afterwards (Moore et al. 1964). Subsequent work by the same authors leads to the purification of thioredoxin reductase from mammalian neoplastic tissues (Moore 1967). The three-dimensional structure of thioredoxin reductase from E. coliwas solved by X-ray crystallography in the early...
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