Molecular Life Sciences

2018 Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters

Reactive Oxygen Species

  • Frederick Peter Guengerich
Reference work entry



Reactive oxygen species are formed by the partial reduction of molecular oxygen (O2) by enzymatic processes and the interactions of these species with each other and transition metals to produce more reactive oxygen species.


Oxidative damage to DNA is discussed in the entry of the same title, and this entry will deal with the background on the reactive forms of oxygen and how they are formed.

In its native state, O 2 is in the triplet state ( 3O 2) and not prone to react with organic molecules, almost all of which are in the singlet state. However, O 2 is readily reduced by a number of enzyme systems (Fig. 1).
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Center in Molecular ToxicologyBiochemistry and Center in Molecular Toxicology, Vanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA