Calorie Restriction can protect the brain

Redoxcope: Interview | M. C. WiderCalorie Restriction Can Protect the Brain

by Maria Celia Wider

For decades, caloric restriction has been known to enhance longevity and the prevent age-related diseases. However, the processes responsible for these effects are not yet fully understood. Now, Redoxoma Network researchers have found the mechanism in which caloric restriction facilitates mitochondrial calcium retention capacity in the brain, resulting in protection against excitotoxic damage, which is related to neuronal loss in diseases such as stroke, Parkinson´s and Alzheimer’s. “Because we determined caloric restriction´s mechanism of action, we may be able to develop drugs to increase mitochondrial calcium uptake in mitochondria in a manner that is not dependent


What is in a mechanism?

Francisco R. M. Laurindo
Vascular Biology Laboratory, Incor
University of São Paulo Medical School

If you care about science, you care about mechanisms. Or at least you should, if you care about doing good science. More than ever, there is a wide consensus that the quality of science is as good as the depth of mechanistic insights it carries. Powerful mechanisms appear everywhere: in articles from top journals, in discussions with good scientists, in decisions about grant priorities, academic career, etc. This is also uncomfortably felt in the rejection letters one gets nowadays, in which the lack of sufficient mechanistic insights is a chief reason for not achieving a high-impact publication


Redox Reactions and the Origin of Life

The Radical-Free Corner | Redox Reactions and the Origin Life  Alicia Kowaltowski

by Alicia Kowaltowski

Peter Mitchell was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the chemiosmotic mechanism of ATP synthesis, a hypothesis he first published in 1961 [1]. Surprisingly, shortly before this seminal publication, Dr. Mitchell attended and wrote a paper for a symposium on the origins of life [2]. His scientific interests were obviously quite vast!

He was also a visionary: In his publication on the origins of life, Dr. Mitchell describes the importance of membranes, osmosis and the exchange of substances with the environment in the origins of life. He was spot on. Today, most early life evolution specialists agree that life


Peroxide signaling through thiol switches: chemical and biological aspects.

by Luis E. S. Netto

It is now well accepted that oxidants and other redox intermediates are not only damaging compounds, but also act as signaling molecules. This is especially evident for hydrogen peroxide, whose generation and degradation are finely regulated through multiple enzymatic systems. Proteins whose activities are based on Cysteine (Cys) residues are frequently reported to be oxidized in various biological systems in conditions where hydrogen peroxide is also generated. As the most parsimonious hypothesis, these proteins are frequently assumed to be directly oxidized by hydrogen peroxide, although this is not always supported by chemical data.

For instance, Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases


ROS are not good for our minds

Ohara Augusto
Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo

You may be thinking that the above title means that ROS are bad to our central nervous system because they trigger oxidative reactions that can damage it. Instead, the message here is that the term ROS obscures the mind to the point of hindering the advances in the understanding of the multiple roles of free radicals and oxidants in physiology and pathophysiology.

ROS appeared as an abbreviation for Reactive Oxygen Species but abbreviations are useful when they have specific meanings. ROS is not truly an abbreviation because it groups together molecules with entirely different chemical and biological properties. Also, it is not accepted as a standard abbreviation in chemistry because