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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007 Apr;146(4):621-31. Epub 2006 Mar 2.

Oxidative stress and its effects during dehydration.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, UFRJ, 21949-900, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Water is usually thought to be required for the living state, but several organisms are capable of surviving complete dehydration (anhydrobiotes). Elucidation of the mechanisms of tolerance against dehydration may lead to development of new methods for preserving biological materials that do not normally support drying, which is of enormous practical importance in industry, in clinical medicine as well as in agriculture. One of the molecular mechanisms of damage leading to death in desiccation-sensitive cells upon drying is free-radical attack to phospholipids, DNA and proteins. This review aims to summarize the strategies used by anhydrobiotes to cope with the danger of oxygen toxicity and to present our recent results about the importance of some antioxidant defense systems in the dehydration tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a usual model in the study of stress response.

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