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Pagel, Judith-Irina and Deindl, Elisabeth (October 2012): Disease Progression Mediated by Egr-1 Associated Signaling in Response to Oxidative Stress. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 10: pp. 13104-13117 [PDF, 237kB]


When cellular reducing enzymes fail to shield the cell from increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative stress arises. The redox state is misbalanced, DNA and proteins are damaged and cellular transcription networks are activated. This condition can lead to the initiation and/or to the progression of atherosclerosis, tumors or pulmonary hypertension; diseases that are decisively furthered by the presence of oxidizing agents. Redox sensitive genes, like the zinc finger transcription factor early growth response 1 (Egr-1), play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of these diseases. Apart from inducing apoptosis, signaling partners like the MEK/ERK pathway or the protein kinase C (PKC) can activate salvage programs such as cell proliferation that do not ameliorate, but rather worsen their outcome. Here, we review the currently available data on Egr-1 related signal transduction cascades in response to oxidative stress in the progression of epidemiologically significant diseases. Knowing the molecular pathways behind the pathology will greatly enhance our ability to identify possible targets for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

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