Gene expression and the thiol redox state

Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Nov;27(9-10):936-44. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(99)00175-6.


The intracellular redox status is a tightly regulated parameter which provides the cell with an optimal ability to counteract the highly oxidizing extracellular environment. Intracellular redox homeostasis is regulated by thiol-containing molecules, such as glutathione and thioredoxin. Essential cellular functions, such as gene expression, are influenced by the balance between pro- and antioxidant conditions. The mechanism by which the transcription of specific eukaryotic genes is redox regulated is complex, however, recent findings suggest that redox-sensitive transcription factors play an essential role in this process. This review is focused on the recent knowledge concerning some eukaryotic transcription factors, whose activation and DNA binding is controlled by the thiol redox status of the cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, fos
  • Genes, jun
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • NF-kappa B
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53