Redox signaling, mitochondrial metabolism, epigenetics and redox active phytochemicals

Renyi Wu, Shanyi Li, Rasika Hudlikar, Lujing Wang, Ahmad Shannar, Rebecca Peter, Pochung Jordan Chou, Hsiao Chen Dina Kuo, Zhigang Liu, Ah Ng Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biological redox signaling plays an important role in many diseases. Redox signaling involves reductive and oxidative mechanisms. Oxidative stress occurs when reductive mechanism overwhelms oxidative challenges. Cellular oxidative stress occurs when reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RO/NS) exceed the cellular reductive/antioxidant capacity. Endogenously produced RO/NS from mitochondrial metabolic citric-acid-cycle coupled with electron-transport-chain or exogenous stimuli trigger cellular signaling events leading to homeostatic response or pathological damage. Recent evidence suggests that RO/NS also modulate epigenetic machinery driving gene expression. RO/NS affect DNA methylation/demethylation, histone acetylation/deacetylation or histone methylation/demethylation. Many health beneficial phytochemicals possess redox capability that counteract RO/NS either by directly scavenging the radicals or via inductive mechanism of cellular defense antioxidant/reductive enzymes. Amazingly, these phytochemicals also possess epigenetic modifying ability. This review summarizes the latest advances on the interactions between redox signaling, mitochondrial metabolism, epigenetics and redox active phytochemicals and the future challenges of integrating these events in human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Citric acid cycle
  • Epigenetics
  • Metabolism
  • Oxidative stress
  • Redox
  • Redox active phytochemicals


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