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REVIEW: Electrophilic Signaling: The Role of Reactive Carbonyl Compounds

O. V. Kosmachevskaya1,a, K. B. Shumaev1,b, and A. F. Topunov1,c*

1Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Research Center of Biotechnology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received April 12, 2018; Revised July 26, 2018; Accepted July 26, 2018
Reactive carbonyl compounds (RCC) are a group of compounds with clearly pronounced electrophilic properties that facilitate their spontaneous reactions with numerous nucleophilic reaction sites in proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The biological functions of RCC are determined by their concentration and governed by the hormesis (biphasic reaction) principle. At low concentrations, RCC act as signaling molecules activating defense systems against xenobiotics and oxidizers, and at high concentrations, they exhibit the cytotoxic effect. RCC participate in the formation of cell adaptive response via intracellular signaling pathways involving regulation of gene expression and cytoplasmic mechanisms related to the structure-functional rearrangements of proteins. Special attention in this review is given to the functioning of electrophiles as mediators of cell general adaption syndrome manifested as the biphasic response. The hypothesis is proposed that electrophilic signaling can be a proto-signaling system.
KEY WORDS: electrophilic metabolites, reactive carbonyl compounds, intracellular signaling, hormesis

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297919140128