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Redox Signaling by Reactive Electrophiles and Oxidants

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2018 by Saba Parvez, Marcus J. C. Long, Jesse R. Poganik, Yimon Aye
The concept of cell signaling in the context of nonenzyme-assisted protein modifications by reactive electrophilic and oxidative species, broadly known as redox signaling, is a uniquely complex topic that has been approached from numerous different and multidisciplinary angles. Our Review reflects on five aspects critical for understanding how nature harnesses these noncanonical post-translational modifications to coordinate distinct cellular activities: (1) specific players and their generation, (2) physicochemical properties, (3) mechanisms of action, (4) methods of interrogation, and (5) functional roles in health and disease. Emphasis is primarily placed on the latest progress in the field, but several aspects of classical work likely forgotten/lost are also recollected. For researchers with interests in getting into the field, our Review is anticipated to function as a primer. For the expert, we aim to stimulate thought and discussion about fundamentals of redox signaling mechanisms and nuances of specificity/selectivity and timing in this sophisticated yet fascinating arena at the crossroads of chemistry and biology.