Environmental and genetic causes are implicated in the etiopathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), a neurodegenerative movement disorder. DJ-1, a putative gene recessively linked to early onset PD, functions as an antioxidant, transcriptional co-activator, and molecular chaperone. We examined DJ-1 status following global perturbation of protein thiol homeostasis by depleting cellular antioxidant glutathione or downregulating glutaredoxin 1, a thiol disulfide oxidoreductase, wherein both paradigms generate oxidative stress. While these perturbations did not affect expression of DJ-1 mRNA, downregulation of glutaredoxin 1 but not glutathione depletion caused loss of DJ-1 protein, translocation of Daxx (a death-associated protein) from nucleus, and cell death. Overexpression of wild-type DJ-1, but not the cysteine mutants, prevented Daxx translocation and cytotoxicity. Protease inhibitors prevented constitutive DJ-1 loss. Residual DJ-1 was present in reduced state, indicating that DJ-1 when oxidized was degraded through proteolysis. Thus, loss of DJ-1 occurring through its oxidative modification and subsequent proteolysis mediated through dysregulation of thiol disulfide oxidoreductase may contribute to pathogenesis of sporadic PD, thus providing a link between environmental challenges and constitutive levels of this vital protein.