Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) is a small molecule with reactive cysteines that reduces proteins with disulfide bonds through a thiol disulfide exchange reaction. Accumulating lines of evidence suggest that Trx1 protects the heart from ischemia/reperfusion injury, pathological hypertrophy, and inflammation; induces preconditioning effects and angiogenesis; and upregulates mitochondrial genes. Exogenously given recombinant Trx1 (r-Trx1) may protect the heart through its actions in both extracellular and intracellular spaces. In this brief review, the potential of Trx1 therapy for heart disease is discussed. This article is part of a special issue entitled "Key Signaling Molecules in Hypertrophy and Heart Failure.".
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