A new type of peroxidase enzyme, named thioredoxin peroxidase (TPx), that reduces H2O2 with the use of electrons from thioredoxin and contains two essential cysteines was recently identified. TPx homologs, termed peroxiredoxin (Prx), have also been identified and include several proteins, designated 1-Cys Prx, that contain only one conserved cysteine. Recombinant human 1-Cys Prx expressed in and purified from Escherichia coli has now been shown to reduce H2O2 with electrons provided by dithiothreitol. Furthermore, human 1-Cys Prx transiently expressed in NIH 3T3 cells was able to remove intracellular H2O2 generated in response either to the addition of exogenous H2O2 or to treatment with platelet-derived growth factor. The conserved Cys47-SH group was shown to be the site of oxidation by H2O2. Thus, mutation of Cys47 to serine abolished peroxidase activity. Moreover, the oxidized intermediate appears to be Cys-SOH. In contrast to TPx, in which one of the two conserved cysteines is oxidized to Cys-SOH and then immediately reacts with the second conserved cysteine of the second subunit of the enzyme homodimer to form an intermolecular disulfide, the Cys-SOH of 1-Cys Prx does not form a disulfide. Neither thioredoxin, which reduces the disulfide of TPx, nor glutathione, which reduces the Cys-SeOH of oxidized glutathione peroxidase, was able to reduce the Cys-SOH of l-Cys Prx and consequently could not support peroxidase activity. Human 1-Cys Prx was previously shown to exhibit a low level of phospholipase A2 activity at an acidic pH; the enzyme was thus proposed to be lysosomal, and Ser32 was proposed to be critical for lipase function. However, the mutation of Set32 or Cys47 has now been shown to have no effect on the lipase activity of 1- Cys Prx, which was also shown to be a cytosolic protein. Thus, the primary cellular function of 1-Cys Prx appears to be to reduce peroxides with the use of electrons provided by an as yet unidentified source; the enzyme therefore represents a new type of peroxidase.