Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated following ligand-receptor interactions and function as specific second messengers in signaling cascades involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. Although ROS are generated intracellularly by several sources, including mitochondria, the primary sources of ROS involved in receptor-mediated signaling cascades are plasma membrane oxidases, preferentially NADPH oxidases, with a rapid kinetics of activation and inactivation. This allows a tight up- and downregulation of intracellular ROS levels within the short time required for the transduction of signals from the plasma membrane to the cell nucleus. The mode of action of ROS may involve direct interaction with specific receptors, and/or redox-activation of members of signaling pathways such as protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and transcription factors. Furthermore, ROS act in concert with intracellular Ca2+
in signaling pathways which regulate the balance of cell proliferation versus cell cycle arrest and cell death. The delicate intracellular interplay between oxidizing and reducing equivalents allows ROS to function as second messengers in the control of cell proliferation and differentiation.
Department of Neurophysiology, University of Cologne
Robert-Koch-Str. 39, 50931 Cologne (Germany)
Tel. +49/221-4786976, Fax: +49/221-344527
Accepted: June 13, 2001
Number of Print Pages : 14
Number of Figures : NIL, Number of Tables : NIL, Number of References : NIL
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (International Journal of Experimental Cellular Physiology, Biochemistry andPharmacology)
Vol. 11, No. 4, Year 2001 (Cover Date: 2001)
Journal Editor: F. Lang, Tübingen
ISSN: 1015–8987 (print), 1421–9778 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cpb
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