Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase, Redox Homeostasis and Embryogenesis

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 11;23(4):2017. doi: 10.3390/ijms23042017.


Normal embryogenesis requires complex regulation and precision, which depends on multiple mechanistic details. Defective embryogenesis can occur by various mechanisms. Maintaining redox homeostasis is of importance during embryogenesis. NADPH, as produced from the action of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), has an important role in redox homeostasis, serving as a cofactor for glutathione reductase in the recycling of glutathione from oxidized glutathione and for NADPH oxidases and nitric oxide synthases in the generation of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen species (RNS). Oxidative stress differentially influences cell fate and embryogenesis. While low levels of stress (eustress) by ROS and RNS promote cell growth and differentiation, supra-physiological concentrations of ROS and RNS can lead to cell demise and embryonic lethality. G6PD-deficient cells and organisms have been used as models in embryogenesis for determining the role of redox signaling in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation and migration. Embryogenesis is also modulated by anti-oxidant enzymes, transcription factors, microRNAs, growth factors and signaling pathways, which are dependent on redox regulation. Crosstalk among transcription factors, microRNAs and redox signaling is essential for embryogenesis.

Keywords: G6PD; G6PD deficiency; ROS; animal models; embryonic lethal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Development / physiology*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase