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Redox Rep. 2007;12(1):4-10.

Role of 4-hydroxynonenal and its metabolites in signaling.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-0647, USA.


Available evidence from a multitude of studies on the effects of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) on cellular processes seem to converge on some common themes: (i) concentration-dependent opposing effects of HNE on key signaling components (e.g. protein kinase C, adenylate cyclase) predict that certain constitutive levels of HNE may be needed for normal cell functions - lowering of this constitutive HNE level in cells promotes proliferative machinery while an increase in this level promotes apoptotic signaling; (ii) HNE is a common denominator in stress-induced apoptosis caused by H(2)O(2), superoxide, UV, heat or oxidant chemicals such as doxorubicin; and (iii) HNE can modulate ligand-independent signaling by membrane receptors such as EGFR or Fas (CD95) and may act as a sensor of external stimuli for eliciting stress-response. Against a backdrop of various reported effects of HNE, in vitro and in vivo, we have critically evaluated the above mentioned hypotheses suggesting a key role of HNE in signaling.

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