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Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Nov 15;31(10):1279-83.

Hypothesis: the role of reactive sulfur species in oxidative stress.

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School of Chemistry, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.


Oxidative stress arises from an imbalance in the metabolism of redox-active species promoting the formation of oxidizing agents. At present, these species are thought to include reactive oxygen, reactive nitrogen, and reactive nitrogen oxygen species (ROS, RNS, and RNOS, respectively). Reactive species have their origin in enzymatic synthesis, environmental induction, or by the further chemical reaction of an active species with other endogenous molecules to generate a second-generation reactive species. These second-generation species possess a different spectrum of activity to the parent species, with different redox reactions and biological targets. We now propose that an additional group of redox active molecules termed "reactive sulfur species" (RSS) are formed in vivo under conditions of oxidative stress. RSS are likely to include disulfide-S-oxides, sulfenic acids, and thiyl radicals, and are predicted to modulate the redox status of biological thiols and disulfides.

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