It is well established that superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the irresplaceable enzyme for aerobic lifestyle. Our understanding of its role has made strides recently as the result of gene transfection approach. Available data on consequences of Cu,Zn-SOD gene transfection in cell resistance to oxygen toxicity are reviewed. There are data that increasing only Cu,Zn-SOD can be toxic, and the balance between Cu,Zn-SOD and peroxide-removing enzymes is supposed to be of prime importance in the antioxidant defence. Role of Cu,Zn-SOD deregulation in carcinogenesis is discussed.

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