Mitochondria: regulators of signal transduction by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Sep 15;33(6):755-64. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(02)00901-2.


The functional role of mitochondria in cell physiology has previously centered around metabolism, with oxidative phosphorylation playing a pivotal role. Recently, however, this perspective has changed significantly with the realization that mitochondria are active participants in signal transduction pathways, not simply the passive recipients of injunctions from the rest of the cell. In this review the emerging role of the mitochondrion in cell signaling is discussed in the context of cytochrome c release, hydrogen peroxide formation from the respiratory chain, and the nitric oxide-cytochrome c oxidase signaling pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Chemical
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Time Factors


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Free Radicals
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Electron Transport Complex IV