Redox toxicology of environmental chemicals causing oxidative stress

Fuli Zheng, Filipe Marques Gonçalves, Yumi Abiko, Huangyuan Li, Yoshito Kumagai, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Living organisms are surrounded with heavy metals such as methylmercury, manganese, cobalt, cadmium, arsenic, as well as pesticides such as deltamethrin and paraquat, or atmospheric pollutants such as quinone. Extensive studies have demonstrated a strong link between environmental pollutants and human health. Redox toxicity is proposed as one of the main mechanisms of chemical-induced pathology in humans. Acting as both a sensor of oxidative stress and a positive regulator of antioxidants, the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) has attracted recent attention. However, the role NRF2 plays in environmental pollutant-induced toxicity has not been systematically addressed. Here, we characterize NRF2 function in response to various pollutants, such as metals, pesticides and atmospheric quinones. NRF2 related signaling pathways and epigenetic regulations are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101475
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Air pollutants
  • Epigenetic modifications
  • Heavy metals
  • NRF2
  • Pesticides
  • Redox signaling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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