Reactive oxygen species in normal and tumor stem cells

Daohong Zhou, Lijian Shao, Douglas R. Spitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

285 Scopus citations


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in determining the fate of normal stem cells. Low levels of ROS are required for stem cells to maintain quiescence and self-renewal. Increases in ROS production cause stem cell proliferation/differentiation, senescence, and apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, leading to their exhaustion. Therefore, the production of ROS in stem cells is tightly regulated to ensure that they have the ability to maintain tissue homeostasis and repair damaged tissues for the life span of an organism. In this chapter, we discuss how the production of ROS in normal stem cells is regulated by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors and how the fate of these cells is altered by the dysregulation of ROS production under various pathological conditions. In addition, the implications of the aberrant production of ROS by tumor stem cells for tumor progression and treatment are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cancer Research
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages67
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Cancer Research
ISSN (Print)0065-230X


  • Adult stem cells
  • Apoptosis
  • Differentiation
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Hypoxia
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Senescence
  • Tumor stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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