An Introduction to Reactive Oxygen Species and Measurement of ROS in Cells
30 July 2015

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is a phrase used to describe a number of reactive molecules and free radicals derived from molecular oxygen. The production of oxygen based radicals is the bane to all aerobic species. These molecules, produced as byproducts during the mitochondrial electron transport of aerobic respiration or by oxidoreductase enzymes and metal catalyzed oxidation, have the potential to cause a number of deleterious events. It was originally thought that only phagocytic cells were responsible for ROS production as their part in host cell defense mechanisms. Recent work has demonstrated that ROS have a role in cell signaling, including; apoptosis; gene expression; and the activation of cell signaling cascades, and these molecules can be detected by various techniques. This application note describes the biology behind some of these molecules and the means for their detection.