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Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Jan 15;34(2):145-69.

Biological significance of phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx, GPx4) in mammalian cells.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kitasato University, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known mediators of intracellular signal cascades. Excessive production of ROS may lead to oxidative stress, loss of cell function, and cell death by apoptosis or necrosis. Lipid hydroperoxides are one type of ROS whose biological function has not yet been clarified. Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx, GPx4) is a unique antioxidant enzyme that can directly reduce phospholipid hydroperoxide in mammalian cells. This contrasts with most antioxidant enzymes, which cannot reduce intracellular phospholipid hydroperoxides directly. In this review, we focus on the structure and biological functions of PHGPx in mammalian cells. Recently, molecular techniques have allowed overexpression of PHGPx in mammalian cell lines, from which it has become clear that lipid hydroperoxides also have an important function as activators of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, participate in inflammation, and act as signal molecules for apoptotic cell death and receptor-mediated signal transduction at the cellular level.

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