Indexed on: 28 Nov '06Published on: 28 Nov '06Published in: Trends in Cell Biology
The mitochondrial electron transport chain is the major source for the production of oxygen radicals. Mitochondria-generated reactive oxygen species (mROS) have been implicated in decreasing the life span and contributing to age-related diseases (known as the free radical theory of aging). Recently, the serine/threonine kinase protein kinase D1 (PKD1) was identified as a mitochondrial sensor for oxidative stress. mROS-activated PKD regulates a radical-sensing signaling pathway, which relays mROS production to the induction of nuclear genes that mediate cellular detoxification and survival. This PKD regulated signaling pathway is the first known mitochondria located and mitochondrially regulated antioxidant system that protects these organelles and cells from oxidative stress-mediated damage or cell death. The identification of this and further intracellular protective signaling pathways provides an opportunity to manipulate the effects of mROS, and might provide the key to targeting aging effects and age-related diseases that have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunctions.