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Nitric oxide, other reactive signalling compounds, redox, and reductive stress

Hancock, John; Veal, David

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John Hancock
Professor in Cell Signalling


Nitric oxide (NO) and other reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are key signalling molecules in plants, but they do not work in isolation. NO is produced in cells, often increased in response to stress conditions, but many other reactive compounds used in signalling are generated and accumulate spatially and temporally together. This includes the reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Here, the interactions with such other reactive molecules is briefly reviewed. Furthermore, along with ROS and H2S, NO will potentially contribute to the overall intracellular redox of the cell. However, RNS will exist in redox couples and therefore the influence of the cellular redox on such couples will be explored. In discussions of the aberrations in intracellular redox it is usually oxidation, so-called oxidative stress, which is discussed. Here, we consider the notion of reductive stress and how this may influence the signalling which may be mediated by NO. By getting a more holistic view of NO biology, the influence on cell activity of NO and other RNS can be more fully understood, and may lead to the elucidation of methods for NO-based manipulation of plant physiology, leading to better stress responses and improved crops in the future.


Hancock, J., & Veal, D. (2021). Nitric oxide, other reactive signalling compounds, redox, and reductive stress. Journal of Experimental Botany, 72(3), 819-829.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jul 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2020
Publication Date Feb 11, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2021
Journal Journal of Experimental Botany
Print ISSN 0022-0957
Electronic ISSN 1460-2431
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 72
Issue 3
Pages 819-829
Keywords Glutathione; Hydrogen peroxide; Hydrogen sulfide; NAD(P)H; Nitric oxide; Reactive oxygen species; Redox; Reductive stress
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Hancock-Veal J Exp Bot 2020-resub2-uwe (534 Kb)


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Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Botany, following peer review. The version of record John T Hancock, David Veal, Nitric oxide, other reactive signalling compounds, redox and reductive stress, Journal of Experimental Botany, 72, 3, pp. 819-829 is available online at: .

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