Redox Signaling

  • Martin Beckerman
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

The realization that potentially damaging free radicals are present in cells began with observations by Rebeca Gerschman in 1954 that free radicals produced as by-products of oxidative metabolism cause damage to cells in a way similar to the actions of ionizing radiation such as X-rays. In the same year Commoner, Townsend, and Pake using an electron-spin resonance spectrometer, which can detect the presence of unpaired electrons, found that ROS were present in biological materials. The importance of these observations was reinforced by the discovery that cells express enzymes that modify free radicals in order to render them less harmful. Superoxide dismutase was discovered by McCord and Fridovich in 1969, and this was just the first of a growing list of enzymes that target free radicals. That free radicals can damage lipids, DNA, and proteins led to the publication of a highly influential paper by Denham Harman in 1956 postulating that free radical-induced cellular damage is a key...


Nitric Oxide Sarcoplasmic Reticulum NADPH Oxidase Guanylyl Cyclase Fluid Shear Stress 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oak RidgeUSA

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