Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 2012 Jan 1;4:141-55. Epub 2012 Jan 1.
Biomedical Sciences Department, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.
It is well accepted that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role in many biological processes including disease and longevity. Oxidation of proteins has been linked to many disease states and even the aging process itself. This was first proposed as "The free radical theory of aging" in 1956 by Denham Harman which suggests that free radicals causes cumulative and irreversible damage to macromolecules, loss of cellular function and cell death over time directly impacting health and lifespan. Cellular damage from ROS exposure has been termed oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between cellular ROS production and the ability of the cell to regulate ROS levels and repair damage caused by ROS. This review focuses on the role of oxidative stress in the eye lens as a model for understanding the role of oxidative stress systems in age-related human disease.