Int J Biol Sci 2008; 4(1):8-14. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4.8 This issue


Primary antioxidant free radical scavenging and redox signaling pathways in higher plant cells

Hong-Bo Shao1, 2, 3, Li-Ye Chu3, Zhao-Hua Lu1, 4, Cong-Min Kang3

1. Binzhou University, Binzhou 256603, China
2. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yangling 712100, China
3. Institute for Life Sciences, Qingdao University of Science & Technology (QUST), Qingdao 266042, China
4. Institute of Restoration Ecology, China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing100083, China

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Shao HB, Chu LY, Lu ZH, Kang CM. Primary antioxidant free radical scavenging and redox signaling pathways in higher plant cells. Int J Biol Sci 2008; 4(1):8-14. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4.8. Available from

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Antioxidants in plant cells mainly include glutathione, ascorbate, tocopherol, proline, betaine and others, which are also information-rich redox buffers and important redox signaling components that interact with cellular compartments. As an unfortunate consequence of aerobic life for higher plants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed by partial reduction of molecular oxygen. The above enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in higher plant cells can protect their cells from oxidative damage by scavenging ROS. In addition to crucial roles in defense system and as enzyme cofactors, antioxidants influence higher plant growth and development by modifying processes from miotosis and cell elongation to senescence and death. Most importantly, they provide essential information on cellular redox state, and regulate gene expression associated with biotic and abiotic stress responses to optimize defense and survival. An overview of the literature is presented in terms of primary antioxidant free radical scavenging and redox signaling in plant cells. Special attention is given to ROS and ROS-anioxidant interaction as a metabolic interface for different types of signals derived from metabolisms and from the changing environment. This interaction regulates the appropriate induction of acclimation processes or execution of cell death programs, which are the two essential directions for higher plant cells.

Keywords: Plant cells, Antioxidant, Reactive oxygen species (ROS), ROS-antioxidant interacting interface, Soil-plant interface, Signaling