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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Feb 15;422(2):119-24.

An assessment of proposed mechanisms for sensing hydrogen peroxide in mammalian systems.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Despite much recent interest in the biochemistry of reactive oxygen species, the mechanisms by which hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) functions in mammalian cells remain poorly defined. Proposed mechanisms for sensing H2O2 in mammalian cells include inactivation of protein tyrosine phosphatases and dual specificity phosphatases as well as inactivation of peroxiredoxins. In this critical review, proteins proposed to serve as sensors for H2O2 in mammals will be compared to peroxidases, catalases, and the bacterial H2O2 sensor OxyR for their ability to react with H2O2, in the context of our current knowledge concerning the concentrations of H2O2 present in cells.

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