Q:

What do redox signaling molecules do?

A:

Quick Answer

Redox signaling molecules coordinate activities within and between cells to maintain cellular health by alerting the body to potential threats and ensuring that damaged cells are detected and receive repair. They are vital to the proper functioning of immune system and cellular healing mechanisms.

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Full Answer

The body produces redox signaling molecules during ATP synthesis. There are two types of redox signaling molecules: activator and communicator.

Activator redox signaling molecules work by detecting the presence of oxygen free radicals, which accumulate and cause chronic inflammation, degenerative aging of cells and damage to cellular organelles. The redox signaling molecules communicate the presence of free radicals to the body’s defense mechanism, naturally produced antioxidants, which bind with other receptors to interfere with the destructive activity of the free radicals and render them harmless.

Communicator redox signaling molecules act by detecting and communicating the presence of harmful bacteria and viruses to trigger the body’s immune response, thus helping to maintain overall health.

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