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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 3 (2010), Issue 6, Pages 361-373

Signaling of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species in Diabetes Mellitus

Vitamin Research Institute, Moscow, Russia

Received 20 October 2010; Revised 26 November 2010; Accepted 6 December 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Disorder of physiological signaling functions of reactive oxygen species(ROS) superoxide and hydrogen peroxide and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) nitric oxide and peroxynitrite is an important feature of diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. It is now known that hyperglycemic conditions of cells are associated with the enhanced levels of ROS mainly generated by mitochondria and NADPH oxidase. It has been established that ROS stimulate many enzymatic cascades under normal physiological conditions, but hyperglycemia causes ROS overproduction and the deregulation of ROS signaling pathways initiating the development of diabetes mellitus. On the other hand the deregulation of RNS signaling leads basically to a decrease in NO formation with subsequent damaging disorders. In the present work we will consider the pathological changes of ROS and RNS signaling in enzyme/gene regulated processes catalyzed by protein kinases C and B (Akt/B), phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3-kinase), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and some others. Furthermore we will discuss a particularly important role of several ROS-regulated genes and adapter proteins such as the p66shc, FOXO3a and Sirt2. The effects of low and high ROS levels in diabetes will be also considered. Thus the regulation of damaging ROS levels in diabetes by antioxidants and free radical scavengers must be one of promising treatment of this disease, however, because of the inability of traditionalantioxidative vitamin E and C to interact with superoxide and hydrogen peroxide,new free radical scavengers such as flavonoids, quinones and synthetic mimetics of superoxide dismutase (SOD) should be intensively studied.