Mitochondrial DNA

Volume 554 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology™ pp 165-181

Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Mitochondria

  • Adrian J. LambertAffiliated withMRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit
  • , Martin D. BrandAffiliated withBuck Institute of Aging

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Oxidative damage to cellular macromolecules is believed to underlie the development of many pathological states and aging. The agents responsible for this damage are generally thought to be reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical. The main source of reactive species production within most cells is the mitochondria. Within the mitochondria the primary reactive oxygen species produced is superoxide, most of which is converted to hydrogen peroxide by the action of superoxide dismutase. The production of superoxide by mitochondria has been localized to several enzymes of the electron transport chain, including Complexes I and III and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. In this chapter the current consensus view of sites, rates, mechanisms, and topology of superoxide production by mitochondria is described. A brief overview of the methods for measuring reactive oxygen species production in isolated mitochondria and cells is also presented.

Key words

Superoxide hydrogen peroxide Complex I Complex III succinate rotenone antimycin myxothiazol