The metabolism of quinone compounds presents one source of oxidative stress in mammals, as many pathways proceed by mechanisms that generate reactive oxygen species as by-products. One defense against quinone toxicity is the enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase type 1 (QR1), which metabolizes quinones by a two-electron reduction mechanism, thus averting production of radicals. QR1 is expressed in the cytoplasm of many tissues, and is highly inducible. A closely related homologue, quinone reductase type 2 (QR2), has been identified in several mammalian species. QR2 is also capable of reducing quinones to hydroquinones, but unlike QR1, cannot use NAD(P)H. X-ray crystallographic studies of QR1 and QR2 illustrate that despite their different biochemical properties, these enzymes have very similar three-dimensional structures. In particular, conserved features of the active sites point to the close relationship between these two enzymes.