Redox Control of Gene Expression by Eukaryotic Transcription Factors NF-κB, AP-1 and SRF/TCF

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In higher eukaryotic cells, three unrelated transciption factor systems have been identified as regulators of gene transcription in response to alterations of the intracellular level of reactive oxygen intermediates. One is NF-kB, an inducible protein complex that activates gene transcription specifically in response to peroxides. A second one is AP-1, a factor newly synthesized upon stimulation of cells by both H2O2 as well as antioxidants. A third one is SRF/TCF, a nuclear transcription factor responsible for transcriptional activation of the gene encoding the AP-1 subunit c-fos in response to both H2O2 and antioxidants. In this article, we will review the current knowledge about redox regulation of gene expression by NF-κB, AP-1 and SRF/TCF and discuss the different molecular mechanisms by which these factors induce gene expression.