Redox Homeostasis

  • Joris Messens
  • Nicolas Rouhier
  • Jean-François Collet


Multiple factors, including small sulfur-containing molecules and oxidoreductases, are involved in the control of intracellular redox homeostasis. In this chapter, we first review properties and functions of the small sulfur-containing molecules glutathione, mycothiol, bacillithiol and trypanothione. These low molecular weight thiols, which cycle between a reduced and oxidized form, are present at high intracellular concentrations and function as redox buffers to protect cells against oxidative stress conditions. In the second part of this chapter, we focus on the two oxidoreductases, thioredoxin and glutaredoxin. These enzymes are key players in pathways aimed to reduce disulfide bonds in intracellular proteins and to maintain cellular redox homeostasis. We review the general properties of these enzymes and highlight their significant diversity. Finally, we discuss the recent discovery that monothiol glutaredoxins coordinate an iron sulfur cluster, which suggests a novel link between redox and iron homeostasis.


Ribonucleotide Reductase Oxidative Stress Condition Iron Sulfur Cluster Mixed Disulfide Redox Buffer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



JM is a group leader of the VIB and JFC is a Chercheur Qualifié of the Belgian FNRS. JM is indebted to JFC for helpful redox discussions over the past 5 years and JFC to JM. This work was supported by the European Research Council (FP7/2007–2013) ERC independent researcher starting grant 282335 – Sulfenic to JFC.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural BiologyVlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Structural Biology BrusselsVrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Brussels Center for Redox BiologyBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Faculté des Sciences, Unité Mixte de Recherches 1136, Interactions Arbres MicroorganismesLorraine University-INRA, IFR 110 EFABAVandoeuvre CedexFrance
  5. Duve InstituteUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  6. 6.WELBIOBrusselsBelgium

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