As cells proliferate, they move through a coordinated process of cell growth, DNA duplication and mitosis referred to as the cell cycle. The cell cycle is a tightly regulated process with several checkpoints. Each one of these checkpoints is regulated by proteins and protein complexes that are influenced by the oxidative state of the cell. The relationship between the Redox state and cell cycle control is described in great detail in a review by Burhans and Heintz .
High levels of ROS, which can lead to cellular damage, oxidative stress and DNA damage, can elicit either cell survival or apoptosis mechanisms depending on severity and duration of exposure. Intra-cellularly, ROS species, in conjunction with antioxidant enzymes, are believed to play a role in turning enzymes on and off by redox signaling in a manner akin to that of the cAMP second messenger system . Stimulated cells exhibit pronounced increases in ROS activity.
The integral role that ROS compounds have been shown to play in cellular growth and multiplication has makes them and/or the enzymes that produce and regulate their production potential chemotherapeutic drug targets. In addition the general redox status of the cell has been suggested to act as a cellular growth control mechanism. As cancer cells seem more susceptible to perturbations in the cellular redox-state, therapeutic agents that alter it have the potential to be effective antitumor agents.
Several different fluorescent and luminescent markers have been developed to assess ROS, particularly H2O2 in cells and tissues. The multimode readers from BioTek, such as the Synergy H4, Synergy 2, and Synergy Mx are ideal reader platforms for quantitation of these compounds and many others associated reactive oxygen species.
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2.Burhans, W. and N. Heintz (2009) The Cell Cycle is a Redox Cycle: Linking phase-specific targets to cell fate. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 47:1282-1294.\
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