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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2007 Aug;10(4):380-6. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Reactive electrophile species.

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Gene Expression Laboratory, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, Biophore, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


The interest in reactive electrophile species (RES) stems largely from the fact that they can have powerful biological activities. RES stimulate the expression of cell survival genes as well many other genes commonly upregulated in environmental stress and pathogenesis. RES levels must be carefully controlled in healthy cells but their formation and destruction during stress is of great interest. Unlike many 'classical' signals and hormones, RES can potentially affect gene expression at all levels by chemically reacting with nucleic acids, proteins and small molecules as well as by indirectly lowering pools of cellular reductants. Recent works involving genetic approaches have begun to provide compelling evidence that, although excess RES production can lead to cell damage, lower levels of RES may modulate the expression of cell survival genes and may actually contribute to survival during severe stress.

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