Oxidative activation of antioxidant defence

Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Aug;30(8):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.06.001.


Living cells maintain a delicate balance between oxidizing and reducing species, and many disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's disease have been associated with a disturbed intracellular 'redox equilibrium'. The past few years have witnessed accelerated research into how natural redox responses and antioxidant defence systems are activated and how they restore a healthy redox balance. To function properly, many of these processes rely on a powerful sulfur redox chemistry, which is best exemplified by the complex, newly emerging cysteine-based redox regulation of the glutathione and thioredoxin pathways. Other redox systems based on oxidatively activated amino acid side chains in proteins are also becoming increasingly important, but are still barely understood or explored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress* / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Thioredoxins
  • Glutathione