High-mobility group box 1, oxidative stress, and disease

Daolin Tang, Rui Kang, Herbert J. Zeh, Michael T. Lotze

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress and associated reactive oxygen species can modify lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids, and induce the mitochondrial permeability transition, providing a signal leading to the induction of autophagy, apoptosis, and necrosis. High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, a chromatin-binding nuclear protein and damage-associated molecular pattern molecule, is integral to oxidative stress and downstream apoptosis or survival. Accumulation of HMGB1 at sites of oxidative DNA damage can lead to repair of the DNA. As a redox-sensitive protein, HMGB1 contains three cysteines (Cys23, 45, and 106). In the setting of oxidative stress, it can form a Cys23-Cys45 disulfide bond; a role for oxidative homo- or heterodimerization through the Cys106 has been suggested for some of its biologic activities. HMGB1 causes activation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase and increased reactive oxygen species production in neutrophils. Reduced and oxidized HMGB1 have different roles in extracellular signaling and regulation of immune responses, mediated by signaling through the receptor for advanced glycation end products and/or Toll-like receptors. Antioxidants such as ethyl pyruvate, quercetin, green tea, N-acetylcysteine, and curcumin are protective in the setting of experimental infection/sepsis and injury including ischemia-reperfusion, partly through attenuating HMGB1 release and systemic accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1335
Number of pages21
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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