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Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2008;45(1):1-23. doi: 10.1080/10408360701713104 .

Oxidative stress and iron homeostasis: mechanistic and health aspects.

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Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece.


Iron is an essential cofactor for important biological activities and biochemical reactions, including the transport of oxygen via red blood cells and its reduction to water during respiration. While iron's bioavailability is generally limited, pathological accumulation of the metal within tissues aggravates the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and elicits toxic effects, which are mainly related to oxidative stress. Here, we describe the role of iron in ROS-induced toxicity and discuss molecular mechanisms and physiological aspects of ROS- and iron-mediated signaling. In addition, we review our current understanding of the regulation of iron homeostasis at the cellular and systemic levels, and focus on the pathogenesis and management of iron overload disorders.

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