Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics Vol. 27, October 1990, pp. 269-274 H2O2 has a role in cellular regulation T. Ramasarma Department of Biochemistry Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012 Abstract: H2O2, in addition to producing highly reactive molecules through hydroxyl radicals or peroxidase action, can exert a number of direct effects on cells, organelles and enzymes. The stimulations include glucose transport, glucose incorporation into glycogen, HMP shunt pathway, lipid synthesis, release of calcium from mitochondria and of arachidonate from phospholipids, poly ADP ribosylation, and insulin receptor tyrosine kinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase activities. The inactivations include glycolysis, lipolysis, reacylation of lysophospholipids, ATP synthesis, superoxide dismutase and protein kinase C. Damages to DNA and proteoglycan and general cytotoxicity possibly through oxygen radicals were also observed. A whole new range of effects will be opened by the finding that H2O2 can act as a signal transducer in oxidative stress by oxidizing a dithiol protein to disulphide form which then activates transcription of the stress inducible genes. Many of these direct effects seem to be obtained by dithiol-disulphide modification of proteins and their active sites, as part of adaptive responses in oxidative stress.