Navigation Links
Preventive detention for oxidizing agents

Oxidative stress is believed to cause a number of diseases. Up to now, it has been common practice to measure oxidative stress levels by determining the oxidation state of a small molecule called glutathione in cell extracts. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have been the first to discover that cells under stress deposit their oxidized glutathione in a cellular waste repository. This protects cells from oxidative stress and questions the validity of the conventional measuring method.

Cancer, Alzheimer's, arteriosclerosis the list of diseases which have been linked to oxidative stress is long and even includes the very process of aging. Oxidative stress is caused by so-called reactive oxygen compounds, which include the notorious "free radicals". If a cell is exposed to more reactive oxygen compounds than it can instantly degrade, it is under oxidative stress. As a result, important components such as proteins, DNA and lipids are oxidized and thus get damaged.

To determine whether a cell is under oxidative stress, scientists often analyze the oxidation state of glutathione. Glutathione is a small molecule which gets oxidized to protect the cell from reactive oxygen compounds. In theory, the amount of oxidized glutathione should therefore indicate whether a cell is healthy or under oxidative stress. However, researchers in the team of Associate Professor (PD) Dr. Tobias Dick have demonstrated that this hypothesis, which is the basis of a large number of scientific studies, is deceptive.

"Up to now, it was necessary to destroy the cells in order to measure the amount of oxidized glutathione," Tobias Dick explains. "However, this means that any spatial resolution is lost." Therefore, virtually nothing was known about where exactly oxidized glutathione is found in the cells. Scientists have presumed that it remains in the cytoplasm, where it is formed.

To find out more about the whereabouts of glutathione in the cell, Tobias Dick and co-workers developed biosensors which indicate the oxidation state of glutathione in intact cells by releasing light signals. In yeast cells, the researchers were able, for the first time, to follow the path of oxidized glutathione through the living cell in real time. They were surprised to find that, rather than remaining in the cytoplasm, it promptly gets locked up in a safe depot, the vacuole.

The cytoplasm, where all important cellular metabolic processes happen, is thus reliably protected from oxidative damage. Cells that would have been considered to be under oxidative stress using the conventional method appeared entirely healthy in their cytoplasm. Tobias Dick and his team could subsequently show that this is not only true for yeast cells but also for various mammalian cells and also for cancer cells.

These results mean that contrary to previously held beliefs the level of oxidative glutathione does not indicate whether or not a cell is under oxidative stress. "Therefore, it is important to re-evaluate prior studies that have established a link between oxidative stress and various diseases based on the conventional method."


Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstdt
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related biology news :

1. Understanding the RNAi Reagents Market Overlap with Drug Discovery and Therapeutic Development is Critical for Pharmaceutical Leaders
2. Boston subway system to be used to test new sensors for biological agents
3. Project MICREAgents: Self-assembling smart microscopic reagents to pioneer pourable electronics
4. Novel non-antibiotic agents against MRSA and common strep infections
5. Production of FRP components without release agents
6. Developing second skin military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/31/2016)...  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring ... , M.D., who returned to the company in October ... team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , ... and Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics ... the launch of a project to establish the informatics ... NSO has been contracted by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... & Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 ... Review , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, ... the escalating cost of cancer care is placing ... a result of expensive biologic therapies. With the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features ... will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, ... tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The ... of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining ...
Breaking Biology Technology: