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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Feb 1;14(3):459-68. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3363. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Mitochondrial ROS generation and its regulation: mechanisms involved in H(2)O(2) signaling.

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Université Bordeaux 2, and Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics of the Cell (IBGC) du CNRS, Bordeaux, France.


Mitochondria are the main source of reactive oxygen species in the cell. These reactive oxygen species have long been known as being involved in oxidative stress. This is a review of the mechanisms involved in reactive oxygen species generation by the respiratory chain and some of the dehydrogenases and the control by thermodynamic and kinetic constraints. Mitochondrial ROS produced at the level of the bc1 complex as well at the level of complex I are discussed. It was recognized more than a decade ago that they can also function as signaling molecules. This signaling role will be developed both in terms of mechanism and in terms of mitochondrial ROS signaling. The notion that hydrogen peroxide acts not only as a damaging oxidant but also as a signaling molecule was proposed more than a decade ago. Hydrogen peroxide signaling can be either direct (oxidation of its target) or indirect (involving peroxiredoxins, for example). The consequences of ROS signaling on crucial biologic processes such as cell proliferation and differentiation are discussed.

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