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Nuclear and mitochondrial compartmentation of oxidative stress and redox signaling.

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Department of Medicine and Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


New methods to measure thiol oxidation show that redox compartmentation functions as a mechanism for specificity in redox signaling and oxidative stress. Redox Western analysis and redox-sensitive green fluorescent proteins provide means to quantify thiol/disulfide redox changes in specific subcellular compartments. Analyses using these techniques show that the relative redox states from most reducing to most oxidizing are mitochondria > nuclei > cytoplasm > endoplasmic reticulum > extracellular space. Mitochondrial thiols are an important target of oxidant-induced apoptosis and necrosis and are especially vulnerable to oxidation because of the relatively alkaline pH. Maintenance of a relatively reduced nuclear redox state is critical for transcription factor binding in transcriptional activation in response to oxidative stress. The new methods are applicable to a broad range of experimental systems and their use will provide improved understanding of the pharmacologic and toxicologic actions of drugs and toxicants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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