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Methods Enzymol. 2010;474:149-64. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(10)74009-X. Epub 2010 Jun 20.

Measurement of extracellular (exofacial) versus intracellular protein thiols.

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James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.


In recent years, the importance of compartmentalization in redox signaling has been realized. A number of specific thiol pools exist both inside and outside the cell, and these thiols are regulated via unique mechanisms and serve specific roles in cell signaling. This chapter covers some of the methodologies available for the interrogation of thiol status in various cellular compartments, with a focus on mitochondrial, cytosolic, and exofacial thiols. Finally, the relevance of these thiols to pathological disease states, in particular cancer, will be discussed. The chapters in the remainder of this volume more than adequately cover the diversity of thiol modifications, describing the specific biochemical nature of these reactions, ranging from S-nitrosation through glutathionylation, to oxidation and beyond. Therefore, this topic will not be further addressed here. Similarly, general methodological considerations are considered to have been dealt with in the remainder of this volume, including requirements for subdued lighting, avoidance of reducing agents and transition metals in media, and rapid sample preparation with adequate control over temperature and pH.

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