Quantitative measures for redox signaling

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Redox signaling is now recognized as an important regulatory mechanism for a number of cellular processes including the antioxidant response, phosphokinase signal transduction and redox metabolism. While there has been considerable progress in identifying the cellular machinery involved in redox signaling, quantitative measures of redox signals have been lacking, limiting efforts aimed at understanding and comparing redox signaling under normoxic and pathogenic conditions. Here we have outlined some of the accepted principles for redox signaling, including the description of hydrogen peroxide as a signaling molecule and the role of kinetics in conferring specificity to these signaling events. Based on these principles, we then develop a working definition for redox signaling and review a number of quantitative methods that have been employed to describe signaling in other systems. Using computational modeling and published data, we show how time- and concentration- dependent analyses, in particular, could be used to quantitatively describe redox signaling and therefore provide important insights into the functional organization of redox networks. Finally, we consider some of the key challenges with implementing these methods.Graphical abstractHighlightsRedox signaling by hydrogen peroxide depends on the oxidation of specific targets.A qualitative definition for redox signaling is proposed.Quantitative signaling measures are reviewed and applied to redox datasets.New signaling insights including an in vivo ultrasensitive response are described.

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