e-ISSN 1694-2078
p-ISSN 1694-2086

Arch Med Biomed Res. 2015;2:?-. doi:10.4314/ambr.v2i4.6

Helmut Sies1-3

Author Affiliations

1Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, 2Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
3College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

correspondence to
Helmut Sies; sies@uni-duesseldorf.de

Received: June 30, 2015
Revised: July 05, 2015
Accepted: July 06, 2015


The field of oxidative stress research embraces chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, physiology and pathophysiology, all the way to medicine and health and disease research. “Oxidative stress is an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, leading to a disruption of redox signaling and control and/or molecular damage” (Sies, H., Jones, D. (2007) in: Encyclopedia of Stress (Fink, G., ed.), 2nd Ed., Vol.3, 45-48). The concept of oxidative stress is presented and discussed in context of current developments. Recent research on molecular redox switches governing oxidative stress responses provides further mechanistic insight in redox biology. The fundamental importance of linking redox shifts to phosphorylation/dephosphorylation signaling is being more fully appreciated. The redox relationships by which biological systems are organized have recently been conceptualized under four principles which, together, make up the ‘Redox Code’. On the more practical side, cautious use of terminology and methods is recommended regarding so-called ROS, reactive oxygen species, and RNS, reactive nitrogen species. The major role in antioxidant defense is fulfilled by antioxidant enzymes, not by small-molecule antioxidant compounds.

KEY WORDS: Oxidative stress; Redox biology; Medicine


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