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Oxidative Modifications in Tissue Pathology and Autoimmune Disease


SIGNIFICANCE:Various autoimmune syndromes are characterized by abnormalities found at the level of tissues and cells, as well as by microenvironmental influences, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), that alter intracellular metabolism and protein expression. Moreover, the convergence of genetic, epigenetic, and even environmental influences can result in B and T lymphocyte autoimmunity and tissue pathology. Recent Advances: This review describes how oxidative stress to cells and tissues may alter post-translational protein modifications, both directly and indirectly, as well as potentially lead to aberrant gene expression. For example, it has been clearly observed in many systems how oxidative stress directly amplifies carbonyl protein modifications. However, ROS also lead to a number of nonenzymatic spontaneous modifications including deamidation and isoaspartate modification as well as to enzyme-mediated citrullination of self-proteins. ROS have direct effects on DNA methylation, leading to influences in gene expression, chromosome inactivation, and the silencing of genetic elements. Finally, ROS can alter many other cellular pathways, including the initiation of apoptosis and NETosis, triggering the release of modified intracellular autoantigens. CRITICAL ISSUES:This review will detail specific post-translational protein modifications, the pathways that control autoimmunity to modified self-proteins, and how products of ROS may be important biomarkers of tissue pathogenesis. FUTURE DIRECTIONS:A clear understanding of the many pathways affected by ROS will lead to potential therapeutic manipulations to alter the onset and/or progression of autoimmune disease.

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