t-Butylhydroquinone is a phenolic antioxidant functioning as an inhibitor of SERCA (endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase). In addition, t-Butylhydroquinone activates ERK2 (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 2) which was late and prolonged compared to butylated hydroxyanisole (sc-252527), a similar phenolic antioxidant. Moreover, studies suggest that t-Butylhydroquinone requires the help of an upstream signaling kinase MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) in order to activate ERK2. It has been reported that t-Butylhydroquinone reduces the intracellular concentration of H2O2 which are byproducts generated during the MAPK pathway. Alternate studies indicate that t-Butylhydroquinone can increase cytosolic and mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase activity in cortical astrocytes.
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