Redox signaling in cardiac physiology and pathology

Circ Res. 2012 Sep 28;111(8):1091-106. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.255216.


Redox signaling refers to the specific and usually reversible oxidation/reduction modification of molecules involved in cellular signaling pathways. In the heart, redox signaling regulates several physiological processes (eg, excitation-contraction coupling) and is involved in a wide variety of pathophysiological and homoeostatic or stress response pathways. Reactive oxygen species involved in cardiac redox signaling may derive from many sources, but NADPH oxidases, as dedicated sources of signaling reactive oxygen species, seem to be especially important. An increasing number of specific posttranslational oxidative modifications involved in cardiac redox signaling are being defined, along with the reactive oxygen species sources that are involved. Here, we review current knowledge on the molecular targets of signaling reactive oxygen species in cardiac cells and their involvement in cardiac physiopathology. Advances in this field may allow the development of targeted therapeutic strategies for conditions such as heart failure as opposed to the general antioxidant approaches that have failed to date.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomegaly / metabolism*
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology*
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • NADPH Oxidases