University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Enrique Cadenas

Affiliated Faculty

Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Research Topics

  1. Signal transduction
  2. Toxicology
  3. Neurodenerative and age-related disorders

Research Overview

The anomalous regulation of apoptosis has been recognized as a pathological process that occurs in a variety of conditions comprising neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, and various cancers. We are interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cell signaling pathways inherent in mitochondrion-dependent apoptosis and with implications for neurodegenerative- and age-related disorders.

Ongoing research projects within these long-term goals are: (a) the study of the potential biological role of mitochondria as an important cellular target of pro-apoptotic JNK signalling involving modulation of Bcl-2 family members; (b) the regulation of mitochondrial functions by nitric oxide and the mitochondrial nitric oxide synthase and how they impinge on the cellular redox state; (c) analysis of the mitochondrial proteome for post-translational modifications caused by JNK activity and exposure to oxidative and nitrosative stress; (d) the analysis of the mechanism of actions of neuroprotective agents in terms of preserving mitochondrion functional integrity through activation of ligand-independent signaling pathways and universal transcription factors.

Contact Information

Office Phone:
(323) 442-1418
(323) 224-7473


  • MD 1974 Medicine - University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • PhD 1977 Biochemistry - University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1978-1980 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Johnson Research Foundation

Research Images

Selected Publications

View a complete PubMed search

View a complete Google Scholar search

Inarrea P, Moini H, Han D, Rettori D, Aguilo I, Alava MA, Iturralde M, Cadenas E. (2007) Mitochondrial respiratory chain and thioredoxin reductase regulate intermembrane Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase activity: implications for mitochondrial energy metabolism and apoptosis. Biochem J.  -PubMed

Schroeter H, Bahia P, Spencer JP, Sheppard O, Rattray M, Cadenas E, Rice-Evans C, Williams RJ. (2007) (-)Epicatechin stimulates ERK-dependent cyclic AMP response element activity and up-regulates GluR2 in cortical neurons. J Neurochem.  -PubMed

Hsiai TK, Hwang J, Barr ML, Correa A, Hamilton R, Alavi M, Rouhanizadeh M, Cadenas E, Hazen SL. (2007) Hemodynamics influences vascular peroxynitrite formation: Implication for low-density lipoprotein apo-B-100 nitration. Free Radic Biol Med. 42(4):519-29. -PubMed

Antunes F, Cadenas E. (2007) The mechanism of cytochrome C oxidase inhibition by nitric oxide. Front Biosci. 12:975-85. -PubMed

Navarro A, Sanchez-Pino MJ, Gomez C, Bandez MJ, Cadenas E, Boveris A. (2007) Dietary thioproline decreases spontaneous food intake and increases survival and neurological function in mice. Antioxid Redox Signal. 9(1):131-41. -PubMed

Nguyen DT, Hernandez-Montes E, Vauzour D, Schonthal AH, Rice-Evans C, Cadenas E, Spencer JP. (2006) The intracellular genistein metabolite 5,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyisoflavone mediates G2-M cell cycle arrest in cancer cells via modulation of the p38 signaling pathway. Free Radic Biol Med. 41(8):1225-39. -PubMed

Ledo A, Barbosa RM, Gerhardt GA, Cadenas E, Laranjinha J. (2005) Concentration dynamics of nitric oxide in rat hippocampal subregions evoked by stimulation of the NMDA glutamate receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 102:17483-8 -PubMed

Han D, Canali R, Garcia J, Aguilera R, Gallaher TK, Cadenas E. (2005) Sites and mechanisms of aconitase inactivation by peroxynitrite: modulation by citrate and glutathione. Biochemistry. 44:11986-96 -PubMed

Ghafourifar P, Cadenas E. (2005) Mitochondrial nitric oxide synthase. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 26:190-5 -PubMed

Antunes F, Nunes C, Laranjinha J, Cadenas E. (2005) Redox interactions of nitric oxide with dopamine and its derivatives. Toxicology. 208:207-12 -PubMed