The FEBS Journal Focus Issue: Oxygen sensing, hypoxia and ROS signalling

The FEBS Journal Focus Issue: Oxygen sensing, hypoxia and ROS signalling

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The latest issue of The FEBS Journal features an exciting collection of articles focused on the recent advances in the field of oxygen-sensing research, the molecular pathways underlying hypoxia, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signalling.

In the State-of-the-Art review by Emily Flashman and colleagues [1], the emerging roles for thiol dioxygenases as oxygen sensors are highlighted. The authors emphasize the relevance of these enzymes for the cells’ response to hypoxia, and they suggest that modulating their activity can be an attractive target both for the therapeutic targeting of hypoxia disease states in humans and for adjusting response to flooding in plants. Staying on the topic of oxygen-sensing, Brian Ortmann and James Nathan [2] review the genetic approaches that have advanced our understanding of the molecular basis of the oxygen-sensing pathways that cells employ and how this gained knowledge can be exploited for therapeutically targeting human disease.

ROS are an inevitable product of the redox reactions of cellular metabolism. As well as being indicators of oxidative stress, ROS play regulatory roles during cell signalling. The most long-lived and one of the best studied ROS, hydrogen peroxide, plays a key role during redox signalling, contributing in this way to cell physiology. In their ‘A Guide to’ review [3], Vsevolod Belousov and colleagues give a comprehensive overview of the existing genetic tools that enable the detection and subsequent study of hydrogen peroxide. Still on the subject of ROS signalling, the activity of Nrf2 during oxidative stress in the context of liver ischemia/reperfusion injury is summarised in this exciting State-of -the-Art review by Teresa Carbonell and co-authors [4]. Elena Machado and colleagues [5] review the structural and biochemical features of cysteine-based protein tyrosine phosphatases, highlighting patterns that specify their oxidation products and also their ability of auto-protection from irreversible oxidation. Still on the topic of redox metabolism, Ajay Shah and colleagues describe the link between intracellular redox state and glycolytic intermediary metabolism [6]. A particularly interesting, ROS production-based crosstalk between the rice blast fungus and rice (pathogen-host interaction) is analysed in the review by Xinyu Liu and Zhengguang Zhang [7].

In their comprehensive State-of-the-Art review [8], Ester Zito and colleagues summarise the mechanisms that regulate redox signalling during hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1)-dependent tumour angiogenesis. Finally, as part of their Meeting report of the 4th biennial Metabolism and Cancer symposium [9], Frédéric Bost and co-authors report on the keynote lecture from the Nobel Prize winner Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, who talked about oxygen sensing and its implication in cancer and therapeutics, and also about the central role of HIF during hypoxia-induced transcription.

We hope that you find this collection of recently published articles on oxygen sensing and redox metabolism timely and informative, and we invite you to read their content in full in Issue 18.


Note that Issue 18 includes also original articles that are not linked to the common theme of the review content (oxygen-sensing, hypoxia and ROS).

Cover image: Vector illustration of magnifier and oxygen saturation levels or hypoxia SpO2, Source: Shuttertock, Stock Vector ID: 1885070968.



  1. Gunawardana DM, Heathcote KC & Flashman E (2021) Emerging roles for thiol dioxygenases as oxygen sensors. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5426-5439. doi: 10.1111/febs.16147. Epub 2021 Aug 27.
  2. Ortmann BM & Nathan JA (2021) Genetic approaches to understand cellular responses to oxygen availability FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5396-5412. doi: 10.1111/febs.16072. Epub 2021 Jun 26.
  3. Smolyarova DD, Podgorny OV, Bilan DS & Belousov VV (2021) A guide to genetically encoded tools for the study of H2O2. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5382-5395. doi: 10.1111/febs.16088. Epub 2021 Jul 27.
  4. Bardallo RG, Panisello-Roselló A, Sanchez-Nuno S, Alva N, Roselló-Catafau J & Carbonell T (2021) Nrf2 and oxidative stress in liver ischemia/reperfusion injury FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5463-5479. doi: 10.1111/febs.16336. Epub 2022 Jan 19.
  5. Netto LES & Machado LESF (2021) Preferential redox regulation of cysteine-based protein tyrosine phosphatases: structural and biochemical diversity. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5480-5504. doi: 10.1111/febs.16466. Epub 2022 May 11.
  6. Zoccarato A, Nabeebaccus AA, Oexner RR, Santos CXC & Shah AM (2021) The nexus between redox state and intermediary metabolism. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5440-5462. doi: 10.1111/febs.16191. Epub 2021 Sep 20.
  7. Liu X & Zhang Z (2021) A double-edged sword: reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the rice blast fungus and host interaction. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5505-5515. doi: 10.1111/febs.16171. Epub 2021 Sep 6.
  8. Manuelli V, Pecorari C, Filomeni G & Zito E (2021) Regulation of redox signaling in HIF-1-dependent tumor angiogenesis. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5413-5425. doi: 10.1111/febs.16110. Epub 2021 Jul 16.
  9. Hadi NA, Boet E, Lahalle A, Lauture L, Refeyton A, Reyes-Castellanos G, Caplet N, Carrier A, Le Cam L, Mazure NM et al (2021) Meeting report of the 4th biennial Metabolism and Cancer symposium. FEBS J. Sep;289(18):5413-5425. doi: 10.1111/febs.16110. Epub 2021 Jul 16.



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