Redox signaling: hydrogen peroxide as intracellular messenger

Exp Mol Med. 1999 Jun 30;31(2):53-9. doi: 10.1038/emm.1999.9.


Although superoxide anions (O2.-) and H2O2 are generally considered to be toxic by-products of respiration, recent evidence suggests that the production of these reactive oxygen species (ROS) might be an integral component of membrane receptor signaling. In mammalian cells, a variety of extracellular stimuli have recently been shown to induce a transient increase in the intracellular concentration of ROS, and specific inhibition of the ROS generation resulted in a complete blockage of stimulant-dependent signaling. In the next few years, therefore, a flurry of research activity is expected in relation to the elucidation of ROS production in response to receptor stimulation, identification of ROS target molecules, and investigation of ROS elimination. The goal of this report is to review our current knowledge of ROS-regulated signal transduction and propose future directions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Prokaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Hydrogen Peroxide