The disulfide proteome and other reactive cysteine proteomes: analysis and functional significance

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Jun 15;14(12):2581-642. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3551. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


Ten years ago, proteomics techniques designed for large-scale investigations of redox-sensitive proteins started to emerge. The proteomes, defined as sets of proteins containing reactive cysteines that undergo oxidative post-translational modifications, have had a particular impact on research concerning the redox regulation of cellular processes. These proteomes, which are hereafter termed "disulfide proteomes," have been studied in nearly all kingdoms of life, including animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Disulfide proteomics has been applied to the identification of proteins modified by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species under stress conditions. Other studies involving disulfide proteomics have addressed the functions of thioredoxins and glutaredoxins. Hence, there is a steadily growing number of proteins containing reactive cysteines, which are probable targets for redox regulation. The disulfide proteomes have provided evidence that entire pathways, such as glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and the Calvin-Benson cycle, are controlled by mechanisms involving changes in the cysteine redox state of each enzyme implicated. Synthesis and degradation of proteins are processes highly represented in disulfide proteomes and additional biochemical data have established some mechanisms for their redox regulation. Thus, combined with biochemistry and genetics, disulfide proteomics has a significant potential to contribute to new discoveries on redox regulation and signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Cysteine / chemistry*
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Disulfides / chemistry*
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photosynthesis
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism


  • Disulfides
  • Proteome
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Thioredoxins
  • Cysteine