Melendez Research Group

Reactive Species Control Disease

Mitochondrea image
Mitochondria are a primary source of reactive oxygen species that are involved in many disease pathologies.

Our studies revolve around a key central paradigm, that oxidant signaling is precise, compartmentalized and amenable to targeted‐antioxidant based therapies. Reactive oxygen and nitro gen species (ROS/RNS), in addition to their ability to damage biomolecules, have also emerged as key mediators in regulation of signaling networks by modulating phosphatase activity, kinase cascades and transcription factor binding. Thus, ROS/RNS serve a dual role, at low concentrations they are secondary signaling molecules that regulate the expression of a wide array of signaling networks, and at high concentrations damage lipids, protein and DNA. The principle mediator of ROS‐dependent signaling is the 2e‐ reduction product of oxygen, H2O2, which is produced in response to numerous physiologic stimuli.

Our work is focused on defining how ROS/RNS drive cellular signaling events that control cellular senescence, metastatic disease, matrix destruction and the virulence of infectious bacteria. We have developed many cutting-edge tools to monitor oxidant production from cells in real time. Our studies indicate that that augmented free radical production initiate or drive age-associated disease. CNSE is unique and provides the scientific infrastructure for the development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic technologies to limit degenerative disease.


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