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Thiol Switches In Mitochondria: Operation And Physiological Relevance

Jan Riemer, Markus Schwarzländer, Marcus Conrad, Johannes M. Herrmann

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Abstract Mitochondria are a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cell, particularly of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. A number of dedicated enzymes regulate the conversion and consumption of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide in the intermembrane space and the matrix of mitochondria. Nevertheless, hydrogen peroxide can also interact with many other mitochondrial enzymes, particularly those with reactive cysteine residues, modulating their reactivity in accordance with changes in redox conditions. In this review we will describe the general redox systems in mitochondria of animals, fungi and plants and discuss potential target proteins that were proposed to contain regulatory thiol switches.