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1.  Upregulation of phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase by cytokines in pancreatic beta-cells: Attenuation of oxidative and nitrosative stress by 2-bromopalmitate 
Biochemical pharmacology  2012;85(1):109-114.
Phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase (Nox2) has been shown to play regulatory roles in the metabolic dysfunction of the islet β-cell under the duress of glucolipotoxic conditions and exposure to proinflammatory cytokines. However, the precise mechanisms underlying Nox2 activation by these stimuli remain less understood. To this end, we report a time-dependent phosphorylation of p47phox, a cytosolic subunit of Nox2, by cytomix (IL-1β+TNFα+IFNγ) in insulin-secreting INS-1 832/13 cells. Furthermore, cytomix induced the expression of gp91phox, a membrane component of Nox2. 2-Bromopalmitate (2-BP), a known inhibitor of protein palmitoylation, markedly attenuated cytokine-induced, Nox2-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and inducible nitric oxide synthase-mediated nitric oxide (NO) generation. However, 2-BP failed to exert any significant effects on cytomix-induced CHOP expression, a marker for endoplasmic reticulum stress. Together, our findings identify palmitoyltransferase as a target for inhibition of cytomix-induced oxidative (ROS generation) and nitrosative (NO generation) stress in the pancreatic β-cell.
PMCID: PMC3529999  PMID: 23092759
Pancreatic β-cell; NADPH-oxidase; 2-Bromopalmitate; Cytokines; Oxidative stress; Nitrosative stress
2.  Tiam1/Rac1 signaling pathway mediates palmitate-induced, ceramide-sensitive generation of superoxides and lipid peroxides and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in pancreatic β-cells 
Biochemical pharmacology  2010;80(6):874-883.
The phagocytic NADPH-oxidase [NOX] has been implicated in the generation of superoxides in the pancreatic β-cell. Herein, using normal rat islets and clonal INS 832/13 cells, we tested the hypothesis that activation of the small G-protein Rac1, which is a member of the NOX holoenzyme, is necessary for palmitate [PA]-induced generation of superoxides in pancreatic β-cells. Incubation of isolated β-cells with PA potently increased the NOX activity culminating in a significant increase in the generation of superoxides and lipid peroxides in these cells; such effects of PA were attenuated by diphenyleneiodonium [DPI], a known inhibitor of NOX. In addition, PA caused a transient, but significant activation [i.e., GTP-bound form] of Rac1 in these cells. NSC23766, a selective inhibitor of Rac1, but not Cdc42 or Rho activation, inhibited Rac1 activation and the generation of superoxides and lipid peroxides induced by PA. Fumonisin B-1 [FB-1], which inhibits de novo synthesis of ceramide [CER] from PA, also attenuated PA-induced superoxide and lipid peroxide generation and NOX activity implicating intracellularly generated CER in the metabolic effects of PA; such effects were also demonstrable in the presence of the cell-permeable C2-CER. Further, NSC23766 prevented C2-CER-induced Rac1 activation and production of superoxides and lipid peroxides. Lastly, C2-CER, but not its inactive analogue, significantly reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential, which was prevented to a large degree by NSC23766. Together, our findings suggest that Tiam1/Rac1 signaling pathway regulates PA-induced, CER-dependent superoxide generation and mitochondrial dysfunction in pancreatic β-cells.
PMCID: PMC2919057  PMID: 20493824
NADPH Oxidase; Rac1; Tiam1; palmitate; ceramide; oxidative stress; pancreatic β-cells
3.  Molecular evolution of Phox-related regulatory subunits for NADPH oxidase enzymes 
The reactive oxygen-generating NADPH oxidases (Noxes) function in a variety of biological roles, and can be broadly classified into those that are regulated by subunit interactions and those that are regulated by calcium. The prototypical subunit-regulated Nox, Nox2, is the membrane-associated catalytic subunit of the phagocyte NADPH-oxidase. Nox2 forms a heterodimer with the integral membrane protein, p22phox, and this heterodimer binds to the regulatory subunits p47phox, p67phox, p40phox and the small GTPase Rac, triggering superoxide generation. Nox-organizer protein 1 (NOXO1) and Nox-activator 1 (NOXA1), respective homologs of p47phox and p67phox, together with p22phox and Rac, activate Nox1, a non-phagocytic homolog of Nox2. NOXO1 and p22phox also regulate Nox3, whereas Nox4 requires only p22phox. In this study, we have assembled and analyzed amino acid sequences of Nox regulatory subunit orthologs from vertebrates, a urochordate, an echinoderm, a mollusc, a cnidarian, a choanoflagellate, fungi and a slime mold amoeba to investigate the evolutionary history of these subunits.
Ancestral p47phox, p67phox, and p22phox genes are broadly seen in the metazoa, except for the ecdysozoans. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis, the unicellular organism that is the closest relatives of multicellular animals, encodes early prototypes of p22phox, p47phox as well as the earliest known Nox2-like ancestor of the Nox1-3 subfamily. p67phox- and p47phox-like genes are seen in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and the limpet Lottia gigantea that also possess Nox2-like co-orthologs of vertebrate Nox1-3. Duplication of primordial p47phox and p67phox genes occurred in vertebrates, with the duplicated branches evolving into NOXO1 and NOXA1. Analysis of characteristic domains of regulatory subunits suggests a novel view of the evolution of Nox: in fish, p40phox participated in regulating both Nox1 and Nox2, but after the appearance of mammals, Nox1 (but not Nox2) became independent of p40phox. In the fish Oryzias latipes, a NOXO1 ortholog retains an autoinhibitory region that is characteristic of mammalian p47phox, and this was subsequently lost from NOXO1 in later vertebrates. Detailed amino acid sequence comparisons identified both putative key residues conserved in characteristic domains and previously unidentified conserved regions. Also, candidate organizer/activator proteins in fungi and amoeba are identified and hypothetical activation models are suggested.
This is the first report to provide the comprehensive view of the molecular evolution of regulatory subunits for Nox enzymes. This approach provides clues for understanding the evolution of biochemical and physiological functions for regulatory-subunit-dependent Nox enzymes.
PMCID: PMC2121648  PMID: 17900370
4.  ER stress in rodent islets of Langerhans is concomitant with obesity and β-cell compensation but not with β-cell dysfunction and diabetes 
Nutrition & Diabetes  2013;3(10):e93-.
The objective of this study was to determine whether ER stress correlates with β-cell dysfunction in obesity-associated diabetes.
Quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analysis were used to investigate changes in the expression of markers of ER stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR) and β-cell function in islets isolated from (1) non-diabetic Zucker obese (ZO) and obese female Zucker diabetic fatty (fZDF) rats compared with their lean littermates and from (2) high-fat-diet-fed fZDF rats (HF-fZDF), to induce diabetes, compared with age-matched non-diabetic obese fZDF rats.
Markers of an adaptive ER stress/UPR and β-cell function are elevated in islets isolated from ZO and fZDF rats compared with their lean littermates. In islets isolated from HF-fZDF rats, there was no significant change in the expression of markers of ER stress compared with age matched, obese, non-diabetic fZDF rats.
These results provide evidence that obesity-induced activation of the UPR is an adaptive response for increasing the ER folding capacity to meet the increased demand for insulin. As ER stress is not exacerbated in high-fat-diet-induced diabetes, we suggest that failure of the islet to mount an effective adaptive UPR in response to an additional increase in insulin demand, rather than chronic ER stress, may ultimately lead to β-cell failure and hence diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3817349  PMID: 24145577
ER stress; unfolded protein response; obesity; pancreatic β-cell; type-2 diabetes
5.  Targeting and Regulation of Reactive Oxygen Species Generation by NOX Family NADPH Oxidases 
Antioxidants & redox signaling  2009;11(10):2607-2619.
Nox family NADPH oxidases serve a variety of functions requiring reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, including antimicrobial defense, biosynthetic processes, oxygen sensing and redox-based cellular signaling. We explored targeting, assembly, and activation of several Nox family oxidases, since ROS production appears to be regulated both spatially and temporally. Nox1 and Nox3 are similar to the phagocytic (Nox2-based) oxidase, functioning as superoxide-generating multi-component enzymes. Factors regulating their activities include cytosolic activator and organizer proteins and GTP-Rac. Their regulation varies, with the following rank order: Nox2>Nox1>Nox3. Determinants of subcellular targeting include: 1) formation of Nox-p22phox heterodimeric complexes allowing plasma membrane translocation, 2) phospholipids-binding specificities of PX domain-containing organizer proteins (p47phox or Nox organizer 1 (Noxo1)), and 3) variably splicing of Noxo1 PX domains directing them to nuclear or plasma membranes. Dual oxidases (Duox1 and Duox2) are targeted by different mechanisms. Plasma membrane targeting results in H2O2 release, not superoxide, to support extracellular peroxidases. Human Duox1 and Duox2 have no demonstrable peroxidase activity, despite their extensive homology with heme peroxidases. The dual oxidases were reconstituted by Duox activator 2 (Duoxa2) or two Duoxa1 variants, which dictate maturation, subcellular localization, and the type of ROS generated by forming stable complexes with Duox.
PMCID: PMC2782575  PMID: 19438290
6.  Targeting and Regulation of Reactive Oxygen Species Generation by Nox Family NADPH Oxidases 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2009;11(10):2607-2619.
Nox family NADPH oxidases serve a variety of functions requiring reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, including antimicrobial defense, biosynthetic processes, oxygen sensing, and redox-based cellular signaling. We explored targeting, assembly, and activation of several Nox family oxidases, since ROS production appears to be regulated both spatially and temporally. Nox1 and Nox3 are similar to the phagocytic (Nox2-based) oxidase, functioning as multicomponent superoxide-generating enzymes. Factors regulating their activities include cytosolic activator and organizer proteins and GTP-Rac. Their regulation varies, with the following rank order: Nox2 > Nox1 > Nox3. Determinants of subcellular targeting include: (a) formation of Nox-p22phox heterodimeric complexes allowing plasma membrane translocation, (b) phospholipids-binding specificities of PX domain-containing organizer proteins (p47phox or Nox organizer 1 (Noxo1 and p40phox), and (c) variably splicing of Noxo1 PX domains directing them to nuclear or plasma membranes. Dual oxidases (Duox1 and Duox2) are targeted by different mechanisms. Plasma membrane targeting results in H2O2 release, not superoxide, to support extracellular peroxidases. Human Duox1 and Duox2 have no demonstrable peroxidase activity, despite their extensive homology with heme peroxidases. The dual oxidases were reconstituted by Duox activator 2 (Duoxa2) or two Duoxa1 variants, which dictate maturation, subcellular localization, and the type of ROS generated by forming stable complexes with Duox. Antioxid Redox Signal. 11, 2607–2619.
PMCID: PMC2782575  PMID: 19438290
7.  Defective Glycogenesis Contributes Toward the Inability to Suppress Hepatic Glucose Production in Response to Hyperglycemia and Hyperinsulinemia in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats 
Diabetes  2011;60(9):2225-2233.
Examine whether normalizing net hepatic glycogenesis restores endogenous glucose production and hepatic glucose phosphorylation in response to diabetic levels of plasma glucose and insulin in Zucker diabetic fatty rats (ZDF).
Hepatic glucose and intermediate fluxes (µmol ⋅ kg−1 ⋅ min−1) were measured with and without a glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor (GPI) using [2-3H]glucose, [3-3H]glucose, and [U-14C]alanine in 20 h-fasted conscious ZDF and their lean littermates (ZCL) under clamp conditions designed to maintain diabetic levels of plasma glucose and insulin.
With infusion of GPI into ZDF (ZDF-GPI+G), compared with vehicle infused ZDF (ZDF-V), high glycogen phosphorylase a activity was decreased and low synthase I activity was increased to that of ZCL. Low net glycogenesis from plasma glucose rose to 75% of ZCL levels (4 ± 1 in ZDF-V, 18 ± 1 in ZDF-GPI+G, and 24 ± 2 in ZCL) and phosphoenolpyruvate 260% (4 ± 2 in ZDF-V, 16 ± 1 in ZDF+GPI-G, and 6 ± 2 in ZCL). High endogenous glucose production was suppressed with GPI infusion but not to that of ZCL (46 ± 4 in ZDF-V, 18 ± 4 in ZDF-GPI+G, and −8 ± 3 in ZCL). This was accompanied by reduction of the higher glucose-6-phosphatase flux (75 ± 4 in ZDF-V, 41 ± 4 in ZDF-GPI+G, and 86 ± 12 in ZCL) and no change in low glucose phosphorylation or total gluconeogenesis.
In the presence of hyperglycemic-hyperinsulinemia in ZDF, reduced glycogenic flux partially contributes to a lack of suppression of hepatic glucose production by failing to redirect glucose-6-phosphate flux from production of glucose to glycogen but is not responsible for a lower rate of glucose phosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC3161317  PMID: 21771972
8.  Characterization of superoxide overproduction by the D-LoopNox4-Nox2 cytochrome b558 in phagocytes – Differential sensitivity to calcium and phosphorylation events 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2010;1808(1):78-90.
NADPH oxidase is a crucial element of phagocytes involved in microbicidal mechanisms. It becomes active when membrane-bound cytochrome b558, the redox core, is assembled with cytosolic p47phox, p67phox, p40phox, and rac proteins to produce superoxide, the precursor for generation of toxic reactive oxygen species. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the potential second intracellular loop of Nox2 was essential to maintaining NADPH oxidase activity by controlling electron transfer from FAD to O2. Moreover, replacement of this loop by the Nox4-D-loop (D-loopNox4-Nox2) in PLB-985 cells induced superoxide overproduction. In the present investigation, we demonstrated that both soluble and particulate stimuli were able to induce this superoxide overproduction. Superoxide overproduction was also observed after phosphatidic acid activation in a purified cell-free-system assay. The highest oxidase activity was obtained after ionomycin and fMLF stimulation. In addition, enhanced sensitivity to Ca2+ influx was shown by thapsigargin, EDTA, or BTP2 treatment before fMLF activation. Mutated cytochrome b558 was less dependent on phosphorylation triggered by ERK1/2 during fMLF or PMA stimulation and by PI3K during OpZ stimulation. The superoxide overproduction of the D-loopNox4-Nox2 mutant may come from a change of responsiveness to intracellular Ca2+ level and to phosphorylation events during oxidase activation. Finally the D-loopNox4-Nox2 -PLB-985 cells were more effective against an attenuated strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared to WT-Nox2 cells. The killing mechanism was biphasic, an early step of ROS production that was directly bactericidal, and a second oxidase-independent step related to the amount of ROS produced in the first step.
PMCID: PMC2997891  PMID: 20708598
NADPH oxidase; activation; ROS overproduction; microbicidy; PLB-985 cells; neutrophils
9.  Regulation of NADPH Oxidase in Vascular Endothelium: The Role of Phospholipases, Protein Kinases, and Cytoskeletal Proteins 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2009;11(4):841-860.
The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vasculature plays a major role in the genesis of endothelial cell (EC) activation and barrier function. Of the several potential sources of ROS in the vasculature, the endothelial NADPH oxidase family of proteins is a major contributor of ROS associated with lung inflammation, ischemia/reperfusion injury, sepsis, hyperoxia, and ventilator-associated lung injury. The NADPH oxidase in lung ECs has most of the components found in phagocytic oxidase, and recent studies show the expression of several homologues of Nox proteins in vascular cells. Activation of NADPH oxidase of nonphagocytic vascular cells is complex and involves assembly of the cytosolic (p47phox, p67phox, and Rac1) and membrane-associated components (Noxes and p22phox). Signaling pathways leading to NADPH oxidase activation are not completely defined; however, they do appear to involve the cytoskeleton and posttranslation modification of the components regulated by protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and phospholipases. Furthermore, several key components regulating NADPH oxidase recruitment, assembly, and activation are enriched in lipid microdomains to form a functional signaling platform. Future studies on temporal and spatial localization of Nox isoforms will provide new insights into the role of NADPH oxidase–derived ROS in the pathobiology of lung diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 841–860.
PMCID: PMC2850292  PMID: 18828698
10.  Protein farnesylation is requisite for mitochondrial fuel-induced insulin release 
Islets  2012;4(1):74-77.
Several lines of recent evidence implicate regulatory roles for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in islet function and insulin secretion. The phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase (Nox2) has recently been shown to be one of the sources of ROS in the signaling events leading to glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). We recently reported inhibition of glucose- or mitochondrial fuel-induced Nox2-derived ROS by a specific inhibitor of protein farnesyl transferse (FTase; FTI-277), suggesting that activation of FTase might represent one of the upstream signaling events to Nox2 activation. Furthermore, FTase inhibitors (FTI-277 and FTI-2628) have also been shown to attenuate GSIS in INS 832/13 cells and normal rodent islets. Herein, we provide further evidence to suggest that inhibition of FTase either by pharmacological (e.g., FTI-277) or gene silencing (siRNA-FTase) approaches markedly attenuates mitochondrial fuel-stimulated insulin secretion (MSIS) in INS 832/13 cells. Together, our findings further establish a link between nutrient-induced Nox2 activation, ROS generation and insulin secretion in the pancreatic β-cell.
PMCID: PMC3365803
insulin secretion; mitochondrial fuels; pancreatic β-cells; protein farnesylation
11.  New p22-Phox Monoclonal Antibodies: Identification of a Conformational Probe for Cytochrome b558 
Journal of Innate Immunity  2009;1(6):556-569.
The phagocyte NADPH oxidase, belonging to the NADPH oxidase family (Nox), is dedicated to the production of bactericidal reactive oxygen species. The enzyme catalytic center is the cytochrome b558, formed by 2 subunits, Nox2 (gp91-phox) and p22-phox. Cytochrome b558 activation results from a conformational change induced by cytosolic regulatory proteins (p67-phox, p47-phox, p40-phox and Rac). The catalytic subunit is Nox2, while p22-phox is essential for both Nox2 maturation and the membrane anchorage of regulatory proteins. Moreover, it has been shown to be necessary for novel Nox activity. In order to characterize both p22-phox topology and cytochrome b558 conformational change, 6 monoclonal antibodies were produced against purified cytochrome b558. Phage display epitope mapping combined with a truncation analysis of recombinant p22-phox allowed the identification of epitope regions. Some of these antibodies almost completely inhibited in vitro reconstituted NADPH oxidase activity. Data analysis identified antibodies that recognized epitopes involved in either Nox2 maturation or Nox2 activation. Moreover, flow cytometry analysis and confocal microscopy performed on stimulated neutrophils showed that the monoclonal antibody 12E6 bound preferentially active cytochrome b558. These monoclonal antibodies provided novel and unique probes to investigate maturation, activation and activity, not only of Nox2 but also of novel Nox.
PMCID: PMC2919509  PMID: 20375611
Cytochrome b558; p22-phox conformation; Monoclonal antibody; Phagocyte NADPH oxidase; Nox
12.  p47phox, the phagocyte NADPH oxidase/NOX2 organizer: structure, phosphorylation and implication in diseases 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2009;41(4):217-225.
Phagocytes such as neutrophils play a vital role in host defense against microbial pathogens. The anti-microbial function of neutrophils is based on the production of superoxide anion (O2•-), which generates other microbicidal reactive oxygen species (ROS) and release of antimicrobial peptides and proteins. The enzyme responsible for O2•- production is called the NADPH oxidase or respiratory burst oxidase. This multicomponent enzyme system is composed of two transmembrane proteins (p22phox and gp91phox, also called NOX2, which together form the cytochrome b558) and four cytosolic proteins (p47phox, p67phox, p40phox and a GTPase Rac1 or Rac2), which assemble at membrane sites upon cell activation. NADPH oxidase activation in phagocytes can be induced by a large number of soluble and particulate agents. This process is dependent on the phosphorylation of the cytosolic protein p47phox. p47phox is a 390 amino acids protein with several functional domains: one phox homology (PX) domain, two src homology 3 (SH3) domains, an auto-inhibitory region (AIR), a proline rich domain (PRR) and has several phosphorylated sites located between Ser303 and Ser379. In this review, we will describe the structure of p47phox, its phosphorylation and discuss how these events regulate NADPH oxidase activation.
PMCID: PMC2679237  PMID: 19372727
CYBB protein, human; NADPH oxidase; neutrophil cytosolic factor 1; neutrophils; phosphorylation; reactive oxygen species; review
13.  Electroacupuncture Zusanli (ST36) on Release of Nitric Oxide in the Gracile Nucleus and Improvement of Sensory Neuropathies in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats 
The purpose of these studies was to examine the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) Zusanli (ST36) on release of nitric oxide (NO) in the gracile nucleus (GN) and determine if functional neuropathic changes were modified by EA ST36-induced NO in the nucleus in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. The foot withdrawal responses to mechanical, thermal and cold stimuli were measured before and after EA stimulation. A microdialysis probe was implanted in the GN and dialysate samples were collected 20 min before, during and after EA ST36. Total nitrate and nitrite (NOx−) concentrations in the samples were quantified by using chemiluminescence. The baseline dialysate NOx− concentrations in the GN were decreased in ZDF rats compared to lean control (LC) rats (P < .05). In ZDF rats, dialysate NOx− releases in the GN were markedly increased during EA ST36, whereas in LC rats, the releases were moderately enhanced at 20–40 min after EA ST36. The withdrawal latencies to mechanical, cold and thermal stimuli were significantly improved 20 min after EA ST36 both in LC and ZDF rats, but not altered by non-acupoint stimulation. The withdrawal latencies to EA ST36 were further potentiated by 3-morpholinyl-sydnoneimine and inhibited by NG-Propyl-l-arginine infused into the GN in ZDF rats (P < .05). These results show that EA ST36 increases NO release in the GN, and NO in the nucleus modifies withdrawal latencies to mechanical, cold, and thermal nociception stimuli. Data suggest that EA ST36 induces NO release in the GN, which contributes to improvement of sensory neuropathies in rats.
PMCID: PMC3135854  PMID: 19679645
14.  Combating oxidative stress in vascular disease: NADPH oxidases as therapeutic targets 
Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery  2011;10(6):453-471.
NADPH oxidases are a family of enzymes that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). The NOX1 (NADPH oxidase 1) and NOX2 oxidases are the major sources of ROS in the artery wall in conditions such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes and ageing, and so they are important contributors to the oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation that underlies arterial remodelling and atherogenesis. In this Review, we advance the concept that compared to the use of conventional antioxidants, inhibiting NOX1 and NOX2 oxidases is a superior approach for combating oxidative stress. We briefly describe some common and emerging putative NADPH oxidase inhibitors. In addition, we highlight the crucial role of the NADPH oxidase regulatory subunit, p47phox, in the activity of vascular NOX1 and NOX2 oxidases, and suggest how a better understanding of its specific molecular interactions may enable the development of novel isoform-selective drugs to prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3361719  PMID: 21629295
15.  Activation of Retinoid Receptor-Mediated Signaling Ameliorates Diabetes-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction in Zucker Diabetic Rats 
Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a significant contributor to the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Retinoids, through activation of retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and retinoid×receptor (RXR), have been linked to control of glucose and lipid homeostasis, with effects on obesity and diabetes. However, the functional role of RAR and RXR in the development of DCM remains unclear. Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) and lean rats were treated with Am580 (RARα agonist) or LGD1069 (RXR agonist) for 16 weeks, and cardiac function and metabolic alterations were determined. Hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance were observed in ZDF rats. Diabetic cardiomyopathy was characterized in ZDF rats by increased oxidative stress, apoptosis, fibrosis, inflammation, activation of MAP kinases and NF-κB signaling and diminished Akt phosphorylation, along with decreased glucose transport and increased cardiac lipid accumulation, and ultimately diastolic dysfunction. Am580 and LGD1069 attenuated diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction and the pathological alterations, by improving glucose tolerance and insulin resistance; facilitating Akt activation and glucose utilization, and attenuating oxidative stress and interrelated MAP kinase and NF-κB signaling pathways. Am580 inhibited body weight gain, attenuated the increased cardiac fatty acid uptake, β-oxidation and lipid accumulation in the hearts of ZDF rats. However, LGD1069 promoted body weight gain, hyperlipidemia and cardiac lipid accumulation. In conclusion, our data suggest that activation of RAR and RXR may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, further studies are necessary to clarify the role of RAR and RXR in the regulation of lipid metabolism and homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3594065  PMID: 23395853
retinoic acid; retinoid receptor; diabetic cardiomyopathy; cardiac remodeling; type 2 diabetes; zucker diabetic fatty rats
16.  D1-Like Receptors Regulate NADPH Oxidase Activity and Subunit Expression in Lipid Raft Microdomains of Renal Proximal Tubule Cells 
Hypertension  2009;53(6):1054-1061.
NADPH oxidase (Nox)–dependent reactive oxygen species production is implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. We tested the hypothesis that oxidase subunits are differentially regulated in renal proximal tubules from normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats. Basal Nox2 and Nox4, but not Rac1, in immortalized renal proximal tubule cells and brush border membranes were greater in hypertensive than in normotensive rats. However, more Rac1 was expressed in lipid rafts in cells from hypertensive rats than in cells from normotensive rats; the converse was observed with Nox4, whereas Nox2 expression was similar. The D1-like receptor agonist fenoldopam decreased Nox2 and Rac1 protein in lipid rafts to a greater extent in hypertensive than in normotensive rats. Basal oxidase activity was 3-fold higher in hypertensive than in normotensive rats but was inhibited to a greater extent by fenoldopam in normotensive (58±3.3%) than in hypertensive rats (31±5.2%; P<0.05; n=6 per group). Fenoldopam decreased the amount of Nox2 that coimmunoprecipitated with p67phox in cells from normotensive rats. D1-like receptors may decrease oxidase activity by disrupting the distribution and assembly of oxidase subunits in cell membrane microdomains. The cholesterol-depleting reagent methyl–β-cyclodextrin decreased oxidase activity and cholesterol content to a greater extent in hypertensive than in normotensive rats. The greater basal levels of Nox2 and Nox4 in cell membranes and Nox2 and Rac1 in lipid rafts in hypertensive rats than in normotensive rats may explain the increased basal oxidase activity in hypertensive rats.
PMCID: PMC2879618  PMID: 19380616
NADPH oxidase; dopamine receptor; reactive oxygen species; lipid rafts
17.  Sequential Activation of the Reactive Oxygen Species/Angiotensinogen/Renin–Angiotensin System Axis in Renal Injury of Type 2 Diabetic Rats 
The present study was performed to test the hypothesis that the reactive oxygen species (ROS)–angiotensinogen (AGT)–renin angiotensin system (RAS) axis is sequentially activated in the development of diabetic nephropathy in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) obese rats.Genetic pairs of male ZDF obese and control ZDF lean rats (n = 12 of each species) were killed every 3 weeks from 12 to 21 weeks of age (n = 6 at each time point).The ZDF obese rats developed diabetes mellitus at 12 weeks. At that time, urinary excretion rates of 8-isoprostane were similar between the groups; however, urinary 8-isoprostane levels were significantly increased at 15 weeks in ZDF obese rats compared with controls (36 ± 6 vs 15 ± 2 ng/day, respectively). At 15 weeks, protein levels of cortical angiotensinogen were similar between groups; however, cortical angiotensinogen levels were significantly increased at 18 weeks in ZDF obese rats compared with controls (relative ratio of 2.32 ± 0.21 vs 1.00 ± 0.20, respectively). At 12 weeks, angiotensin (Ang) II-like immunoreactivity was similar between groups in both the glomeruli and tubules; however, AngII-like immunoreactivity was increased significantly at 21 weeks in ZDF obese rats compared with controls (relative ratios of 1.98 ± 0.55 vs 1.00 ± 0.03, respectively, for glomeruli and 1.58 ± 0.16 vs 1.00 ± 0.13, respectively, for tubules). Moreover, at 21 weeks, the desmin-positive area in the glomeruli (0.63 ± 0.08 vs 0.22 ± 0.05%) and Masson's trichrome stain-positive area in the interstitium (4.97 ± 0.05 vs 3.18 ± 0.41%) were significantly increased in ZDF obese rats compared with controls, even though these differences had not been observed earlier.These data suggest that the sequential activation of the ROS–AGT–RAS axis plays an important role in the development of diabetic nephropathy in ZDF obese rats.
PMCID: PMC2575127  PMID: 18430060
angiotensinogen; diabetic nephropathy; reactive oxygen species; renin–angiotensin system; Type 2 diabetes
18.  Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction Remodels Adipose Tissue and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obesity-Induced Diabetic Rats 
Hypertension  2009;53(3):508-515.
Obesity-associated inflammation causes insulin resistance. Obese adipose tissue displays hypertrophied adipocytes and increased expression of the cannabinoid-1 receptor. Cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP) increases heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) activity, increasing adiponectin and reducing inflammatory cytokines. We hypothesize that CoPP administration to Zucker diabetic fat (ZDF) rats would improve insulin sensitivity and remodel adipose tissue. Twelve-week-old Zucker lean and ZDF rats were divided into 4 groups: Zucker lean, Zucker lean–CoPP, ZDF, and ZDF–CoPP. Control groups received vehicle and treatment groups received CoPP (2 mg/kg body weight) once weekly for 6 weeks. Serum insulin levels and glucose response to insulin injection were measured. At 18 weeks of age, rats were euthanized, and aorta, kidney, and subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues were harvested. HO-1 expression was measured by Western blot analysis and HO-1 activity by serum carbon monoxide content. Adipocyte size and cannabinoid-1 expression were measured. Adipose tissue volumes were determined using MRI. CoPP significantly increased HO-1 activity, phosphorylated AKT and phosphorylated AMP kinase, and serum adiponectin in ZDF rats. HO-1 induction improved hyperinsulinemia and insulin sensitivity in ZDF rats. Subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue volumes were significantly decreased in ZDF rats. Adipocyte size and cannabinoid-1 expression were both significantly reduced in ZDF–CoPP rats in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues. This study demonstrates that HO-1 induction improves insulin sensitivity, downregulates the peripheral endocannabinoid system, reduces adipose tissue volume, and causes adipose tissue remodeling in a model of obesity-induced insulin resistance. These findings suggest HO-1 as a potential therapeutic target for obesity and its associated health risks.
PMCID: PMC2745551  PMID: 19171794
insulin resistance; heme oxygenase-1; adiponectin; adiposity; endocannabinoid; pAMPK
19.  Oxidative innate immune defenses by Nox/Duox family NADPH Oxidases 
Contributions to microbiology  2008;15:164-187.
The importance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in innate immunity was first recognized in professional phagocytes undergoing a “respiratory burst” upon activation. This robust oxygen consumption is related to a superoxide-generating enzyme, the phagocytic NADPH oxidase (Nox2 or phox). The oxidase is essential for microbial killing, since patients lacking a functional oxidase suffer from enhanced susceptibility to microbial infections. ROS derived from superoxide attack bacteria in the isolated niche of the neutrophil phagosome. The oxidase is electrogenic, alters ion currents across membranes, induces apoptosis, regulates cytokine production, influences gene expression, and promotes formation of extracellular traps. Recently, new homologues of Nox2 were discovered establishing the Nox family of NADPH oxidases that encompasses seven members. Nox1 is highly expressed in the colon epithelium, and can be induced by LPS or IFN-γ. Nox4 was implicated in innate immunity since LPS induces Nox4-dependent ROS generation. Duox1 and Duox2 localize to the apical plasma membrane of epithelial cells in major airways, salivary glands, and the gastrointestinal tract, and provide extracellular hydrogen peroxide to lactoperoxidase to produce antimicrobial hypothiocyanite ions. Th1 and Th2 cytokines regulate expression of Dual oxidases in human airways and may thereby act in host defense or in proinflammatory responses.
PMCID: PMC2776633  PMID: 18511861
20.  Antidiabetic treatment restores adiponectin serum levels and APPL1 expression, but does not improve adiponectin-induced vasodilation and endothelial dysfunction in Zucker diabetic fatty rats 
Adiponectin is able to induce NO-dependent vasodilation in Zucker lean (ZL) rats, but this effect is clearly alleviated in their diabetic littermates, the Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. ZDF rats also exhibit hypoadiponectinemia and a suppressed expression of APPL1, an adaptor protein of the adiponectin receptors, in mesenteric resistance arteries. Whether an antidiabetic treatment can restore the vasodilatory effect of adiponectin and improve endothelial function in diabetes mellitus type 2 is not known.
During our animal experiment from week 11 to 22 in each case seven ZDF rats received an antidiabetic treatment with either insulin (ZDF+I) or metformin (ZDF+M). Six normoglycemic ZL and six untreated ZDF rats served as controls. Blood glucose was measured at least weekly and serum adiponectin levels were quantified via ELISA in week 11 and 22. The direct vasodilatory response of their isolated mesenteric resistance arteries to adiponectin as well as the endothelium-dependent and -independent function was evaluated in a small vessel myograph. Additionally, the expression of different components of the adiponectin signaling pathway in the resistance arteries was quantified by real-time RT-PCR.
In ZDF rats a sufficient blood glucose control could only be reached by treatment with insulin, but both treatments restored the serum levels of adiponectin and the expression of APPL1 in small resistance arteries. Nevertheless, both therapies were not able to improve the vasodilatory response to adiponectin as well as endothelial function in ZDF rats. Concurrently, a downregulation of the adiponectin receptors 1 and 2 as well as endothelial NO-synthase expression was detected in insulin-treated ZDF rats. Metformin-treated ZDF rats showed a reduced expression of adiponectin receptor 2.
An antidiabetic treatment with either insulin or metformin in ZDF rats inhibits the development of hypoadiponectinemia and downregulation of APPL1 in mesenteric resistance arteries, but is not able to improve adiponectin induced vasodilation and endothelial dysfunction. This is possibly due to alterations in the expression of adiponectin receptors and eNOS.
PMCID: PMC3606629  PMID: 23497197
Adiponectin; APPL1; AdipoR; eNOS; Insulin; Metformin; Diabetes mellitus type 2
21.  Constitutive NADPH-Dependent Electron Transferase Activity of the Nox4 Dehydrogenase Domain† 
Biochemistry  2010;49(11):2433-2442.
NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) is constitutively active, while Nox2 requires the cytosolic regulatory subunits p47phox and p67phox and activated Rac with activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). This study was undertaken to identify the domain on Nox4 that confers constitutive activity. Lysates from Nox4-expressing cells exhibited constitutive NADPH- but not NADH-dependent hydrogen peroxide production with a Km for NADPH of 55 ± 10 μM. The concentration of Nox4 in cell lysates was estimated using Western blotting and allowed calculation of a turnover of ∼200 mol of H2O2 min−1 (mol of Nox4)−1. A chimeric protein (Nox2/4) consisting of the Nox2 transmembrane (TM) domain and the Nox4 dehydrogenase (DH) domain showed H2O2 production in the absence of cytosolic regulatory subunits. In contrast, chimera Nox4/2, consisting of the Nox4 TM and Nox2 DH domains, exhibited PMA-dependent activation that required coexpression of regulatory subunits. Nox DH domains from several Nox isoforms were purified and evaluated for their electron transferase activities. Nox1 DH, Nox2 DH, and Nox5 DH domains exhibited barely detectable activities toward artificial electron acceptors, while the Nox4 DH domain exhibited significant rates of reduction of cytochrome c (160 min−1, largely superoxide dismutase-independent), ferricyanide (470 min−1), and other electron acceptors (artificial dyes and cytochrome b5). Rates were similar to those observed for H2O2 production by the Nox4 holoenzyme in cell lysates. The activity required added FAD and was seen with NADPH but not NADH. These results indicate that the Nox4 DH domain exists in an intrinsically activated state and that electron transfer from NADPH to FAD is likely to be rate-limiting in the NADPH-dependent reduction of oxygen by holo-Nox4.
PMCID: PMC2839512  PMID: 20163138
22.  Phosphorylation of p47phox is required for receptor-mediated NADPH oxidase/NOX2 activation in Epstein-Barr virus-transformed human B lymphocytes 
The phagocyte NADPH oxidase (NOX2) is known to be expressed in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed human B lymphocytes. Phosphorylation of the NOX2 cytosolic subunit p47phox is required for phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-induced NOX2 activation in EBV-transformed B lymphocytes, however the role of this process in receptor-mediated NOX2 activation is not known. Here, we used pansorbin which acts by cross linking cell surface IgG and transfected cells with mutated p47phox to address if the phosphorylation of this subunit is required for receptor-mediated NOX2 activation. We show that pansorbin induced NOX2 activation in a time and concentration-dependent manner, albeit at levels only of 20% of those induced by PMA. GF109203X, a PKC selective inhibitor, inhibited pansorbin as well as PMA-induced NOX2 activation. Using specific anti-phospho serine antibodies we showed that pansorbin induced p47phox phosphorylation on Ser304, 315, 320, 328, and 345 and kinetics of these phosphorylations preceed NOX2 activation. To determine whether the phosphorylation of p47phox is required for pansorbin-induced NOX2 activation, we transfected EBV-transformed lymphocytes deficent in p47phox with a plasmid expressing wild type p47phox or p47phox with all the phosphorylated serines mutated to alanines, p47phoxS(303-379)A. Results show that pansorbin-induced NOX2 activation was greatly decreased in lymphocytes expressing the mutant as compared to the wild-type p47phox. These results show that pansorbin induced p47phox phosphorylation on multiple sites in EBV-transformed B lymphocytes and this process is required for pansorbin-induced NADPH oxidase activation in these cells.
PMCID: PMC3484414  PMID: 23119229
NADPH oxidase; NOX2; p47phox; B lymphocytes; pansorbin; ROS; phosphorylation
23.  Signaling Components of Redox Active Endosomes: The Redoxosomes 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2009;11(6):1313-1333.
Subcellular compartmentalization of reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a critical role in transmitting cell signals in response to environmental stimuli. In this regard, signals at the plasma membrane have been shown to trigger NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS production within the endosomal compartment and this step can be required for redox-dependent signal transduction. Unique features of redox-active signaling endosomes can include NADPH oxidase complex components (Nox1, Noxo1, Noxa1, Nox2, p47phox, p67phox, and/or Rac1), ROS processing enzymes (SOD1 and/or peroxiredoxins), chloride channels capable of mediating superoxide transport and/or membrane gradients required for Nox activity, and novel redox-dependent sensors that control Nox activity. This review will discuss the cytokine and growth factor receptors that likely mediate signaling through redox-active endosomes, and the common mechanisms whereby they act. Additionally, the review will cover ligand-independent environmental injuries, such as hypoxia/reoxygenation injury, that also appear to facilitate cell signaling through NADPH oxidase at the level of the endosome. We suggest that redox-active endosomes encompass a subset of signaling endosomes that we have termed redoxosomes. Redoxosomes are uniquely equipped with redox-processing proteins capable of transmitting ROS signals from the endosome interior to redox-sensitive effectors on the endosomal surface. In this manner, redoxosomes can control redox-dependent effector functions through the spatial and temporal regulation of ROS as second messengers. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 1313–1333.
PMCID: PMC2842130  PMID: 19072143
24.  Effect of Treadmill Exercise on Interleukin-15 Expression and Glucose Tolerance in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2013;37(5):358-364.
Interleukin-15 (IL-15), a well-known myokine, is highly expressed in skeletal muscle and is involved in muscle-fat crosstalk. Recently, a role of skeletal muscle-derived IL-15 in the improvement of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity has been proposed. However, little is known regarding the influence of endurance training on IL-15 expression in type 2 diabetic skeletal muscles. We investigated the effect of endurance exercise training on glucose tolerance and IL-15 expression in skeletal muscles using type 2 diabetic animal models.
Male Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) and ZDF lean control (ZLC) rats were randomly divided into three groups: sedentary ZLC, sedentary ZDF (ZDF-Con), and exercised ZDF (ZDF-Ex). The ZDF-Ex rats were forced to run a motor-driven treadmill for 60 minutes once a day 5 times per week for 12 weeks. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) was performed after 12 weeks. Expression of IL-15 was measured using ELISA in extracted soleus (SOL) and gastrocnemius medial muscles.
After 12 weeks of treadmill training, reduction of body weight was observed in ZDF-Ex compared to ZDF-Con rats. Glucose tolerance using IPGTT in diabetic rats was significantly improved in ZDF-Ex rats. Furthermore, the expression of IL-15 was significantly increased (P<0.01) only in the SOL of ZDF-Ex rats compared to ZDF-Con. Additionally, IL-15 expression in SOL muscles was negatively correlated with change of body weight (R=-0.424, P=0.04).
The present study results suggest that 12 weeks of progressive endurance training significantly improved glucose tolerance with concomitant increase of IL-15 expression in SOL muscles of type 2 diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3816137  PMID: 24199165
Exercise; Glucose intolerance; Interleukin-15; Rats, Zucker; Treadmill
25.  Cdc42-Dependent Activation of NADPH Oxidase Is Involved in Ethanol-Induced Neuronal Oxidative Stress 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38075.
It has been suggested that excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress play an important role in ethanol-induced damage to both the developing and mature central nervous system (CNS). The mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced neuronal ROS, however, remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of NADPH oxidase (NOX) in ethanol-induced ROS generation. We demonstrated that ethanol activated NOX and inhibition of NOX reduced ethanol-promoted ROS generation. Ethanol significantly increased the expression of p47phox and p67phox, the essential subunits for NOX activation in cultured neuronal cells and the cerebral cortex of infant mice. Ethanol caused serine phosphorylation and membrane translocation of p47phox and p67phox, which were prerequisites for NOX assembly and activation. Knocking down p47phox with the small interfering RNA was sufficient to attenuate ethanol-induced ROS production and ameliorate ethanol-mediated oxidative damage, which is indicated by a decrease in protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation. Ethanol activated cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) and overexpression of a dominant negative (DN) Cdc42 abrogate ethanol-induced NOX activation and ROS generation. These results suggest that Cdc42-dependent NOX activation mediates ethanol-induced oxidative damages to neurons.
PMCID: PMC3360628  PMID: 22662267

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