The Siberian Scientific Medical Journal
№ 2 / 2019 / 11-26
DOI 10.15372/SSMJ20190202


Author Affiliations


Endogenous mechanisms of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen species production and of antioxidant defense systems in tumor cells are analyzed. Increased ROS production is an important regulator of metabolic changes in these cells: enhanced proliferation, apoptosis inhibition, resistance to hypoxia and to cytostatics (doxorubicin, carboplatin, cisplatin, etc.). The most active ROS sources in tumor cells are mitochondria, NAD(P)H oxidases and peroxisomes, which synthesize O2· and H2O2. In mitochondria, the superoxide anion radical is generated mainly by complexes I and III; membrane NAD(P)H oxidases Nox1, Nox2, Nox3, and Nox5 produce O2·, Nox4, and dual oxidases DUOX-1, DUOX-2 – mainly H2O2. Increasing ROS stationary concentration activates endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms, such as redox-dependent antioxidant respons(iv)e element system Keap1/Nrf2/ARE and autophagy, which allows tumor cells to survive under oxidative stress and may underlie resistance to radio- and chemotherapy. The possibilities of tumor cell redox balance regulation by antioxidants with targeted action and by specific inhibitors of ROS enzymatic production are discussed.

Key words

reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen species, antioxidants, mitochondria, NAD(P)H oxidases, tumor
About Authors (Correspondence):

Menshchikova E.B. – doctor of medical sciences, head of the laboratory of molecular mechanisms of free radical processes, e-mail:

Full Text

Received: 24/04/2019
Accepted: 24/04/2019