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Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 15;70(6):811-23.

Redox regulation: a new challenge for pharmacology.

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University of Konstanz, Department of Biology, Fach X910-Sonnenb├╝hl, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany.


Redox signaling is evolving as a new field of biochemical and pharmacological research. Unlike oxidative stress which is characterized by a macroscopic shift in cellular redox potentials and usually accompanied by oxygen radical induced damage, redox regulation involves subtle and more chemically defined oxidations of short duration. Most important is the reductive component as a necessary part of a reversible regulatory process. Examples of redox regulation occur during early stages of the immune response, in hypoxia or in endothelial dysfunction. Persistent oxidative events together with a decline in the cellular reduction potential lead to oxidative stress as is seen in the pathophysiology of sepsis, reperfusion damage, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Oxidative signals involve superoxide and nitric oxide as the main players which form a system of oxidizing, nitrating or nitrosating species leading to posttranslational modifications of proteins. Modern techniques of immunohistochemistry and mass spectrometry allow a correlation of protein modification, e.g., disulfide, S-oxide, S-nitroso or nitrotyrosine formation, with enzyme activities and cellular responses. In this commentary, examples of the control of prostanoid synthesis by the NO/O2- system are described. Redox regulation represents an interesting challenge for the development of drugs that modulate the oxidative trigger mechanisms or enforce the reductive pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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