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New equations for redox and nano-signal transduction

Hancock, John T.; Desikan, Radhika; Neill, Steven; Cross, Andrew R.


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John Hancock
Professor in Cell Signalling

Radhika Desikan

Steven Neill

Andrew R. Cross


Cells maintain redox potentials (Eh) in intracellular compartments, sometimes referred to as redox environments. These potentials are often very reducing, for example in the cytoplasm, but throughout the cell different potentials are maintained, commensurate with the functionality of that particular part of the cell. Furthermore, within a simple cellular compartment, "hot-spots" of redox poise may be maintained. However, despite this complexity, the quantification of such redox potentials has been attempted, and there is indeed a need to accurately assess such potentials, and to monitor how they might change with time. Changes in intracellular potentials may control the oxidation or reduction of protein residues, such as cysteine, which would alter the conformation of those proteins and so modulate their function. Although there are several methods for estimating the intracellular redox potential, the most accessible technique is the measurement of intracellular concentrations of GSH and GSSG, and the calculation of E h using the Nernst equation. However, using this equation shows that the Eh imposed by the glutathione couple is dependent on the total concentration of glutathione present, and therefore values of Eh obtained may be erroneous. Here, we suggest new equations that can be used to calculate the redox environments of cells. © 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Hancock, J. T., Desikan, R., Neill, S., & Cross, A. R. (2004). New equations for redox and nano-signal transduction. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 226(1), 65-68.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 7, 2004
Journal Journal of Theoretical Biology
Print ISSN 0022-5193
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 226
Issue 1
Pages 65-68
Keywords apoptosis, glutathione, nano-switches, nernst equation, redox potentials
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