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1.  Naloxone inhibits immune cell function by suppressing superoxide production through a direct interaction with gp91phox subunit of NADPH oxidase 
Both (-) and (+)-naloxone attenuate inflammation-mediated neurodegeneration by inhibition of microglial activation through superoxide reduction in an opioid receptor-independent manner. Multiple lines of evidence have documented a pivotal role of overactivated NADPH oxidase (NOX2) in inflammation-mediated neurodegeneration. We hypothesized that NOX2 might be a novel action site of naloxone to mediate its anti-inflammatory actions.
Inhibition of NOX-2-derived superoxide by (-) and (+)-naloxone was measured in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated midbrain neuron-glia cultures and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated neutrophil membranes by measuring the superoxide dismutase (SOD)-inhibitable reduction of tetrazolium salt (WST-1) or ferricytochrome c. Further, various ligand (3H-naloxone) binding assays were performed in wild type and gp91phox-/- neutrophils and transfected COS-7 and HEK293 cells. The translocation of cytosolic subunit p47phox to plasma membrane was assessed by western blot.
Both (-) and (+)-naloxone equally inhibited LPS- and PMA-induced superoxide production with an IC50 of 1.96 and 2.52 μM, respectively. Competitive binding of 3H-naloxone with cold (-) and (+)-naloxone in microglia showed equal potency with an IC50 of 2.73 and 1.57 μM, respectively. 3H-Naloxone binding was elevated in COS-7 and HEK293 cells transfected with gp91phox; in contrast, reduced 3H-naloxone binding was found in neutrophils deficient in gp91phox or in the presence of a NOX2 inhibitor. The specificity and an increase in binding capacity of 3H-naloxone were further demonstrated by 1) an immunoprecipitation study using gp91phox antibody, and 2) activation of NOX2 by PMA. Finally, western blot studies showed that naloxone suppressed translocation of the cytosolic subunit p47phox to the membrane, leading to NOX2 inactivation.
Strong evidence is provided indicating that NOX2 is a non-opioid novel binding site for naloxone, which is critical in mediating its inhibitory effect on microglia overactivation and superoxide production.
PMCID: PMC3305409  PMID: 22340895
Neuroinflammation; Microglia; NADPH oxidase; Opioid receptor; Binding
2.  Nox Activator 1 (NoxA1): A Potential Target for Modulation of Vascular Reactive Oxygen Species in Atherosclerotic Arteries 
Circulation  2010;121(4):549-559.
Despite a concerted effort from many laboratories, the critical subunits that participate in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) NADPH oxidase function have yet to be elucidated. Given the potential therapeutic importance of cell-specific inhibition of NADPH oxidase, we investigated the role of Nox activator 1 (NoxA1), a homologue of p67phox, in VSMC NADPH oxidase function, and atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
The presence of NoxA1 in mouse aortic VSMC was confirmed by RT-PCR and sequencing. NoxA1/p47phox interaction, following thrombin treatment, was observed by immunoprecipitation/Western analysis of lysates from p47phox−/− VSMC transfected with adenoviral HA-NoxA1 and Myc-p47phox. Infection with AdNoxA1 significantly enhanced thrombin-induced ROS generation in wild-type but not in p47phox−/− and Nox1−/− VSMC. Thrombin-induced ROS production and VSMC proliferation were significantly reduced following downregulation of NoxA1 using shRNA. Infection with NoxA1 shRNA but not scrambled shRNA significantly decreased thrombin-induced activation of redox-sensitive protein kinases―Janus kinase 2, Akt and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase―in VSMC. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of NoxA1 in guidewire-injured mouse carotid arteries significantly increased superoxide production in medial VSMC and enhanced neointimal hyperplasia. NoxA1 expression was significantly increased in aortas and atherosclerotic lesions of ApoE−/− mice compared with their age-matched wild-type mice. Further, in contrast to p67phox, immunoreactive NoxA1 is present in intimal and medial SMC of human early carotid atherosclerotic lesions.
NoxA1 is the functional homologue of p67phox in VSMC and regulates redox signaling and VSMC phenotype. These findings support the potential for modulation of NoxA1 expression as a viable approach for the treatment of vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC2843418  PMID: 20083677
atherosclerosis; restenosis; neointimal hyperplasia; NADPH oxidase; thrombin; signal transduction
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.  Rotenone Activates Phagocyte NADPH Oxidase through Binding to Its Membrane Subunit gp91phox 
Free radical biology & medicine  2011;52(2):303-313.
Rotenone, a widely used pesticide, reproduces Parkinsonism in rodents and associates with increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. We previously reported rotenone increased superoxide production through stimulating microglial phagocyte NADPH oxidase (PHOX). The present study identified a novel mechanism by which rotenone activates PHOX. Ligand-binding assay revealed that rotenone directly bound to membrane gp91phox, the catalytic subunit of PHOX; such binding was inhibited by diphenyleneiodonium, a PHOX inhibitor with a binding site on gp91phox. Functional studies showed both membrane and cytosolic subunits were required for rotenone-induced superoxide production in cell-free systems, intact phagocytes, and COS7 cells transfected with membrane subunits (gp91phox/p22phox) and cytosolic subunits (p67phox and p47phox). Rotenone-elicited extracellular superoxide release in p47phox-deficient macrophages suggested rotenone enabled to activate PHOX through a p47phox-independent mechanism. Increased membrane translocation of p67phox, elevated binding of p67phox to rotenone-treated membrane fractions, and co-immunoprecipitation of p67phox and gp91phox in rotenone-treated wild-type and p47phox-deficient macrophages indicated p67phox played a critical role in rotenone-induced PHOX activation via its direct interaction with gp91phox. Rac1, a Rho-like small GTPase, enhanced p67phox-gp91phox interaction; Rac1 inhibition decreased rotenone-elicited superoxide release. In conclusion, rotenone directly interacted with gp91phox; such an interaction triggered membrane translocation of p67phox, leading to PHOX activation and superoxide production.
PMCID: PMC3253173  PMID: 22094225
rotenone; macrophages; NADPH oxidase; gp91phox; superoxide; PHOX; NOX2; Rac1
5.  NADPH Oxidase Activation Is Required in Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Cell Transformation Induced by Hexavalent Chromium 
Toxicological Sciences  2011;123(2):399-410.
Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a well-known human carcinogen associated with the incidence of lung cancer. Although overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been suggested to play a major role in its carcinogenicity, the mechanisms of Cr(VI)-induced ROS production remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of NADPH oxidase (NOX), one of the major sources of cellular ROS, in Cr(VI)-induced oxidative stress and carcinogenesis. We found that short-term exposure to Cr(VI) (2μM) resulted in a rapid increase in ROS generation in Beas-2B cells, and concomitantly increased NOX activity and expression of NOX members (NOX1–3 and NOX5) and subunits (p22phox, p47phox, p40phox, and p67phox). Cr(VI) also induced phosphorylation of p47phox and membrane translocation of p47phox and p67phox, further confirming NOX activation. Knockdown of p47phox with a short hairpin RNA attenuated the ROS production induced by Cr(VI). Chronic exposure (up to 3 months) to low doses of Cr(VI) (0.125, 0.25, and 0.5μM) also promoted ROS generation and the expression of NOX subunits, such as p47phox and p67phox, but inhibited the expression of main antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxidase dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Chronic Cr(VI) exposure resulted in transformation of Beas-2B cells, increasing cell proliferation, anchorage independent growth in soft agar, and forming aggressive tumors in nude mice. Stable knockdown of p47phox or overexpression of SOD1, SOD2, or catalase (CAT) eliminated Cr(VI)-induced malignant transformation. Our results suggest that NOX plays an important role in Cr(VI)-induced ROS generation and carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3179675  PMID: 21742780
hexavalent chromium; NADPH oxidase; ROS generation; carcinogenesis
6.  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
7.  Glycated albumin activates NADPH oxidase in rat mesangial cells through up-regulation of p47phox 
Glycated albumin, an early-glycation Amadori-modified protein, stimulates transforming growth factor- β (TGF-β) expression and increases the production of the extracellular matrix proteins in mesangial cells, contributing to the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Glycated albumin has been shown to increase NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide formation in mesangial cells. However, the mechanisms are not well understood. Therefore, in the present studies, we determined the mechanisms by which glycated albumin activates NADPH oxidase in primary rat mesangial cells and its contribution to glycated albumin-induced TGF-β expression and extracellular matrix protein production. Our data showed that glyated albumin treatment stimulated NADPH oxidase activity and increased the formation of superoxide formation in rat mesangial cells. Moreover, glycated albumin treatment stimulated the expression and phosphorylation of p47phox, one of the cytosolic regulatory subunits of the NADPH oxidase. However, the levels of other NADPH oxidase subunits including Nox1, Nox 2, Nox4, p22phox, and p67phox were not altered by glycated albumin. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of p47phox inhibited glycated albumin-induced NADPH oxidase activity and superoxide formation. Glycated albumin-induced TGF-β expression and extracellular matrix production (fibronectin) was also inhibited by p47phox knock down. Taken together, these data suggest that up-regulation of p47phox is involved in glycated albumin mediated activation of NADPH oxidase, leading to glycated albumin-induced expression of TGF-β and extracellular matrix proteins in mesangial cells and contributing to the development of diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC2900544  PMID: 20399741
glycated albumin; NADPH oxidase; p47phox; mesangial cells; TGF-β; extracellular matrix protein
8.  The Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Oxidase Homologues NOX1 and NOX2/gp91phox Mediate Hepatic Fibrosis in Mice 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2011;53(5):1730-1741.
NADPH oxidase (NOX) is a multicomponent enzyme that mediates electron transfer from NADPH to molecular oxygen, which leads to the production of superoxide. NOX2/gp91phox is a catalytic subunit of NOX expressed in phagocytic cells. Several homologues of NOX2, including NOX1, have been identified in non-phagocytic cells. We investigated the contributory role of NOX1 and NOX2 in hepatic fibrosis. Hepatic fibrosis was induced in wild-type (WT) mice, NOX1-knockout (NOX1KO) mice, and NOX2-knockout (NOX2KO) mice by either CCl4 injections or bile duct ligation (BDL). The functional contribution of NOX1 and NOX2 in endogenous liver cells, including hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and bone marrow (BM) derived cells, including Kupffer cells (KCs), to hepatic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and hepatic fibrosis was assessed in vitro and in vivo using NOX1- or NOX2-BM chimeric mice. Hepatic NOX1 and NOX2 mRNA expression was increased in the two experimental mouse models of hepatic fibrosis. While NOX1 was expressed in HSCs but not in KCs, NOX2 was expressed in both HSCs and KCs. Hepatic fibrosis and ROS generation were attenuated in both NOX1KO and NOX2KO mice after CCl4 or BDL. Liver fibrosis in chimeric mice indicated that NOX1 mediates the profibrogenic effects in endogenous liver cells, while NOX2 mediates the profibrogenic effects in both endogenous liver cells and BM-derived cells. Multiple NOX1 and NOX2 components were upregulated in activated HSCs. Both NOX1- and NOX2-deficient HSCs had decreased ROS generation and failed to upregulate collagen α1(I) and TGF-β in response to angiotensin II.
Both NOX1 and NOX2 in endogenous liver cells, including HSCs, have an important role in hepatic fibrosis, while NOX2 in BM-derived cells has a lesser role.
PMCID: PMC3082608  PMID: 21384410
NADPH oxidase; oxidative stress; hepatic fibrosis; hepatic stellate cells
9.  P47phox−/− Mice Are Compromised in Expansion and Activation of CD8+ T Cells and Susceptible to Trypanosoma cruzi Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(12):e1004516.
Macrophage activation of NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) is suggested to kill Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagas disease. However, the role of NOX2 in generation of protective immunity and whether these mechanisms are deregulated in the event of NOX2 deficiency are not known, and examined in this study. Our data showed that C57BL/6 p47phox−/− mice (lack NOX2 activity), as compared to wild-type (WT) mice, succumbed within 30 days post-infection (pi) to low doses of T. cruzi and exhibited inability to control tissue parasites. P47phox−/− bone-marrow and splenic monocytes were not compromised in maturation, phagocytosis and parasite uptake capacity. The deficiency of NOX2 mediated ROS was compensated by higher level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β) release by p47phox−/− macrophages as compared to that noted in WT controls infected by T. cruzi. Splenic activation of Th1 CD4+T cells and tissue infiltration of immune cells in T. cruzi infected p47phox−/− mice were comparable to that noted in infected control mice. However, generation and activation of type 1 CD8+T cells was severely compromised in p47phox−/− mice. In comparison, WT mice exhibited a robust T. cruzi-specific CD8+T cell response with type 1 (IFN-γ+TNF-α>IL-4+IL-10), cytolytic effector (CD8+CD107a+IFN-γ+) phenotype. We conclude that NOX2/ROS activity in macrophages signals the development of antigen-specific CD8+T cell response. In the event of NOX2 deficiency, a compromised CD8+T cell response is generated, leading to increased parasite burden, tissue pathogenesis and mortality in chagasic mice.
Author Summary
Macrophage activation of NADPH oxidase NOX2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) is suggested to mediate control of Trypanosoma cruzi infection that is the causative agent of Chagas disease. However, how NOX2/ROS deficiency affects parasite persistence and chronic disease is not known. In this study, we present the first evidence that NOX2 and ROS shape the T cell-mediated adaptive immunity, and its deficiency result in compromised splenic activation of type 1 cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response to T. cruzi infection. Subsequently, p47phox−/− mice that lack NOX2 activity were more unable to control parasite replication and dissemination and succumbed to susceptible to T. cruzi infection. Our study highlights how redox state of innate immune cells alters the adaptive immunity to intracellular pathogens; and suggests that understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms affected by redox state of immune cells at basal level could be exploited in designing future therapeutic and vaccination strategies against T. cruzi infection and Chagas disease.
PMCID: PMC4256457  PMID: 25474113
10.  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
11.  Impaired Priming and Activation of the Neutrophil NADPH Oxidase in Patients with IRAK4- or NEMO-deficiency * 
The NADPH oxidase (NOX), an oligomeric enzyme, plays a key role in polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN)-mediated host defense by producing cytotoxic superoxide anion (O2.−). Whereas in vitro and biochemical studies have examined the assembly and activation of this important host immune defense system, few studies have examined the function of NOX in human patients with primary immunodeficiencies other than chronic granulomatous disease. We studied the activation of NOX in PMN from patients with two distinct immunodeficiencies, interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) deficiency and nuclear factor kappa (NF-κB) essential modulator (NEMO or IKKγ) deficiency. We observed impaired O2.− generation by LPS-treated and fMLP-activated IRAK4-deficient PMN that correlated with decreased phosphorylation of p47phox and subnormal translocation of p47phox, p67phox, Rac2, and gp91phox/Nox2 to the membranes indicating that TLR4 signaling to the NOX activation pathway requires IRAK4. NEMO-deficient PMN generated significantly less O2.− in response to LPS-primed fMLP and translocated less p67phox than normal PMN although p47phox and Rac2 translocation were normal. Generally, responses of NEMO-deficient cells were intermediate between IRAK4-deficient cells and normal cells. Decreased LPS and fMLP induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in both IRAK4- and NEMO-deficient PMN implicates additional signal transduction pathways in regulating PMN activation by LPS and fMLP. Decreased activation of NOX may contribute to the increased risk of infection seen in patients with IRAK4- and NEMO-deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3733113  PMID: 19414794
Human; Neutrophils; Immunodeficiency Diseases; Cell Activation; Inflammation
12.  The phosphorylation targets of p47phox, a subunit of the respiratory burst oxidase. Functions of the individual target serines as evaluated by site-directed mutagenesis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;96(3):1499-1505.
The respiratory burst oxidase of phagocytes and B lymphocytes catalyzes the reduction of oxygen to O2- at the expense of NADPH. Dormant in resting cells, the oxidase is activated by exposing the cells to appropriate stimuli. During activation, p47phox, a cytosolic oxidase subunit, becomes extensively phosphorylated on a number of serines located between S303 and S379. To determine whether this phosphorylation is necessary for oxidase activation, we examined phorbol-elicited oxidase activity in EBV-transformed B lymphoblasts deficient in p47phox after transfection with plasmids expressing various S-->A mutants of p47phox. The mutant containing S-->A mutations involving all serines between S303 and S379 [S(303-379)A] was not phosphorylated, did not translocate to plasma membrane during activation and was almost devoid of function. As to individual serines, S379 was of special interest because (a) p47 phox S379 was phosphorylated in phorbol-activated lymphoblasts expressing wild-type p47phox, and (b) p47phox S379A failed to translocate to the membrane, and was as functionless as p47phox S(303-379)A; other single S-->A mutations had little effect on oxidase activity. These findings suggest that the phosphorylation of S379 may be important for oxidase activation in whole cells.
PMCID: PMC185774  PMID: 7657821
13.  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
14.  Structural Insights into Nox4 and Nox2: Motifs Involved in Function and Cellular Localization ▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;30(4):961-975.
Regulated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is primarily accomplished by NADPH oxidases (Nox). Nox1 to Nox4 form a membrane-associated heterodimer with p22phox, creating the docking site for assembly of the activated oxidase. Signaling specificity is achieved by interaction with a complex network of cytosolic components. Nox4, an oxidase linked to cardiovascular disease, carcinogenesis, and pulmonary fibrosis, deviates from this model by displaying constitutive H2O2 production without requiring known regulators. Extensive Nox4/Nox2 chimera screening was initiated to pinpoint structural motifs essential for ROS generation and Nox subcellular localization. In summary, a matching B loop was crucial for catalytic activity of both Nox enzymes. Substitution of the carboxyl terminus was sufficient for converting Nox4 into a phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-inducible phenotype, while Nox2-based chimeras never gained constitutive activity. Changing the Nox2 but not the Nox4 amino terminus abolished ROS generation. The unique heterodimerization of a functional Nox4/p22phox Y121H complex was dependent on the D loop. Nox4, Nox2, and functional Nox chimeras translocated to the plasma membrane. Cell surface localization of Nox4 or PMA-inducible Nox4 did not correlate with O2− generation. In contrast, Nox4 released H2O2 and promoted cell migration. Our work provides insights into Nox structure, regulation, and ROS output that will aid inhibitor design.
PMCID: PMC2815567  PMID: 19995913
15.  Macrophages generate reactive oxygen species in response to minimally oxidized LDL: TLR4- and Syk-dependent activation of Nox2 
Circulation research  2008;104(2):210-218.
Oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) plays a causative role in the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we demonstrate that minimally oxidized LDL (mmLDL) stimulates intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in macrophages through NADPH oxidase 2 (gp91phox/Nox2), which in turn induces production of RANTES and migration of smooth muscle cells. Peritoneal macrophages from gp91phox/Nox2−/− mice or J774 macrophages in which Nox2 was knocked down by siRNA failed to generate ROS in response to mmLDL. Because mmLDL-induced cytoskeletal changes were dependent on TLR4, we analyzed ROS generation in peritoneal macrophages from wild type, TLR4−/−, or MyD88−/− mice and found that mmLDL-mediated ROS was generated in a TLR4-dependent, but MyD88-independent manner. Furthermore, we found that ROS generation required the recruitment and activation of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and that mmLDL also induced PLCγ1 phosphorylation and PKC membrane translocation. Importantly, the PLCγ1 phosphorylation was reduced in J774 cells expressing Syk-specific shRNA. Nox2 modulated mmLDL activation of macrophages by regulating the expression of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and RANTES. We showed that purified RANTES was able to stimulate migration of mouse aortic smooth muscle cells (MASMC) and addition of neutralizing antibody against RANTES abolished the migration of MASMC stimulated by mmLDL-stimulated macrophages. These results suggest that mmLDL induces generation of ROS through sequential activation of TLR4, Syk, PLCγ1, PKC, and gp91phox/Nox2 and thereby stimulates expression of proinflammatory cytokines. These data help explain mechanisms by which endogenous ligands, such as mmLDL, can induce TLR4-dependent, proatherogenic activation of macrophages.
PMCID: PMC2720065  PMID: 19096031
minimally oxidized of LDL; reactive oxygen species; NADPH oxidase 2; RANTES; atherosclerosis
16.  Acute Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Signaling via NADPH Oxidase in Microvascular Endothelial Cells: Role of p47phox Phosphorylation and Binding to TRAF4 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(6):2320-2330.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) receptor-associated factors (TRAFs) play important roles in TNF-α signaling by interacting with downstream signaling molecules, e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). However, TNF-α also signals through reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent pathways. The interrelationship between these pathways is unclear; however, a recent study suggested that TRAF4 could bind to the NADPH oxidase subunit p47phox. Here, we investigated the potential interaction between p47phox phosphorylation and TRAF4 binding and their relative roles in acute TNF-α signaling. Exposure of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) to TNF-α (100 U/ml; 1 to 60 min) induced rapid (within 5 min) p47phox phosphorylation. This was paralleled by a 2.7- ± 0.5-fold increase in p47phox-TRAF4 association, membrane translocation of p47phox-TRAF4, a 2.3- ± 0.4-fold increase in p47phox-p22phox complex formation, and a 3.2- ± 0.2-fold increase in NADPH-dependent O2− production (all P < 0.05). TRAF4-p47phox binding was accompanied by a progressive increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and p38MAPK activation, which was inhibited by an O2− scavenger, tiron. TRAF4 predominantly bound the phosphorylated form of p47phox, in a protein kinase C-dependent process. Knockdown of TRAF4 expression using siRNA had no effect on p47phox phosphorylation or binding to p22phox but inhibited TNF-α-induced ERK1/2 activation. In coronary microvascular EC from p47phox−/− mice, TNF-α-induced NADPH oxidase activation, ERK1/2 activation, and cell surface intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression were all inhibited. Thus, both p47phox phosphorylation and TRAF4 are required for acute TNF-α signaling. The increased binding between p47phox and TRAF4 that occurs after p47phox phosphorylation could serve to spatially confine ROS generation from NADPH oxidase and subsequent MAPK activation and cell surface ICAM-1 expression in EC.
PMCID: PMC1061612  PMID: 15743827
17.  Nox5 forms a functional oligomer mediated by self-association of its dehydrogenase domain† 
Biochemistry  2011;50(12):2013-2025.
Nox5 belongs to the calcium-regulated subfamily of NADPH oxidases (Nox). Like other calcium-regulated Noxes, Nox5 has an EF hand-containing calcium-binding domain at its N-terminus, a transmembrane heme-containing region and a C-terminal dehydrogenase (DH) domain that binds FAD and NADPH. While Nox1-4 require regulatory subunits including p22phox, Nox5 activity does not depend on any subunits. We found that inactive point mutants and truncated forms of Nox5 (including the naturally expressed splice form Nox5S) inhibit full-length Nox5, consistent with formation of a dominant negative complex. Oligomerization of full-length Nox5 was demonstrated using co-immunoprecipitation of co-expressed, differentially tagged forms of Nox5 and occurred independently of calcium ion. Several approaches were used to show that the DH domain mediates oligomerization: Nox5 could be isolated as a multimer when the calcium-binding domain and/or the N-terminal polybasic region (PBR-N) were deleted, but deletion of the DH domain eliminated oligomerization. Further, a chimera containing the transmembrane domain of Ciona intestinalis voltage sensor-containing phosphatase (CiVSP) fused to the Nox5 DH domain formed a co-immunoprecipitating complex with, and functioned as a dominant inhibitor of, full-length Nox5. Radiation inactivation of Nox5 overexpressed in HEK293 cells or endogenously expressed in human aortic smooth muscle cells indicated molecular weights of about 350 kDa and 300 kDa, respectively, consistent with a tetramer as the functionally active unit. Thus, Nox5 forms a catalytically active oligomer in the membrane that is mediated by its dehydrogenase domain. As a result of oligomerization, the short, calcium-independent splice form Nox5S may function as an endogenous inhibitor of calcium-stimulated ROS generation by full-length Nox5.
PMCID: PMC3073450  PMID: 21319793
18.  The p47phox- and NADPH oxidase organiser 1 (NOXO1)-dependent activation of NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1) mediates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling and endothelial dysfunction in a streptozotocin-induced murine model of diabetes 
Diabetologia  2012;55(7):2069-2079.
We have previously shown that NADPH oxidase (NOX) lies upstream of uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which is known to occur in diabetic endothelium. However, it remains unclear which specific NOX isoform(s) is responsible for eNOS uncoupling and endothelial dysfunction in diabetic mouse models. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that one or more NOX isoform(s) mediate(s) diabetic uncoupling of eNOS, which has been shown to occur in patients with diabetes to contribute to endothelial dysfunction.
Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin administration. The Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)-sensitive superoxide production of aortic segments, reflective of eNOS uncoupling activity, was determined by electron spin resonance.
The L-NAME-sensitive superoxide production was more than doubled in wild-type diabetic mice, implicating uncoupling of eNOS. This was abolished in diabetic p47phox−/− (also known as Ncf1−/−) mice, but preserved in Nox2−/y (also known as Cybb−/−) mice made diabetic. The eNOS uncoupling activity was markedly attenuated in diabetic mice transfected with Nox1 or Nox1 organiser 1 (Noxo1) short interfering RNA (siRNA), and abolished in Nox1−/y diabetic mice. Diabetes-induced impairment in endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was also significantly attenuated in the Nox1−/y mice made diabetic. By contrast, Nox4 siRNA, or inhibition of mitochondrial complex I or III with rotenone or siRNA, respectively, had no effect on diabetic uncoupling of eNOS. Overexpression of Dhfr, or oral administration of folic acid to improve dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) function, recoupled eNOS in diabetes to improve endothelial function.
Our data demonstrate for the first time that the p47phox and NOXO1-dependent activation of NOX1, but not that of NOX2, NOX4 or mitochondrion, mediates diabetic uncoupling of eNOS. NOX1-null mice are protected from diabetic endothelial dysfunction. Novel approaches to inhibit NOX1 and/or improve DHFR function, may prove to have therapeutic potential for diabetic endothelial dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3694990  PMID: 22549734
Dihydrofolate reductase; eNOS uncoupling; Folic acid; Mitochondrion; NADPH oxidase; NOX1; NOX2; NOX4; NOXO1
19.  Knockout of p47phox Uncovers a Critical Role of p40phox in Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Microvascular Endothelial Cells 
p40phox is an important regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase, but its role in endothelial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production remains unknown.
Methods and Results
Using coronary microvascular endothelial cells isolated from wild-type and p47phox knockout mice, we found that knockout of p47phox increased the level of p40phox expression, whereas depletion of p40phox in wild-type cells increased p47phox expression. In both cases, the basal ROS production (without agonist stimulation) was well preserved. Double knockout of p40phox and p47phox dramatically reduced (≈65%) ROS production and cells started to die. The transcriptional regulation of p40phox and p47phox expressions involves HBP1. p40phox was prephosphorylated in resting cells. PMA stimulation induced p40phox swift dephosphorylation (within 1 minute) in parallel with the start of p47phox phosphorylation. p40phox was then rephosphorylated, and this was accompanied with an increase in ROS production. Depletion of p40phox resulted in ≈67% loss in agonist-induced ROS production despite the presence of p47phox. These were further supported by experiments on mouse aortas stimulated with angiotensin II.
p40phox is prephosphorylated in resting endothelial cells and can compensate p47phox in keeping basal ROS production. Dephosphorylation of p40phox is a prerequisite for agonist-induced p47phox phosphorylation, and p40phox through its dynamic dephosphorylation and rephosphorylation is involved in the regulation of agonist-induced ROS production.
PMCID: PMC2888064  PMID: 19608974
NADPH oxidase; endothelial cells; gene regulation; reactive oxygen species
20.  Endothelial NADPH oxidase 4 mediates vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2–induced intravitreal neovascularization in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity 
Molecular Vision  2014;20:231-241.
NADPH oxidase–generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) are implicated in angiogenesis. Isoforms of NADPH oxidase NOX1, NOX2, and NOX4 are reported to be expressed in endothelial cells (ECs). Of these, NOX1 and NOX2 have been reported to contribute to intravitreal neovascularization (IVNV) in oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) models. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the isoform NOX4 in ECs contributed to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)–induced angiogenesis and IVNV.
Isoforms of NADPH oxidase mRNA were measured in several types of cultured vascular ECs: human retinal microvascular ECs (hRMVECs), choroidal ECs (CECs), and human umbilical vascular ECs (HUVECs) using real-time PCR. Newborn rat pups and dams were placed into an OIR model that cycled oxygen concentration between 50% and 10% every 24 h for 14 days, and then were placed in room air (RA) for an additional 4 days (rat OIR model). NOX4 expression in retinal lysates from the RA–raised pups at postnatal day 0 (P0), P14, and P18 was determined with western blots. STAT3 activation was determined as the ratio of phosphorylated STAT3 to total STAT3 with western blot analysis of retinal lysates from pups raised in RA or from the rat OIR model at P18. Semiquantitative assessment of the density of NOX4 colabeling with lectin-stained retinal ECs was determined by immunolabeling of retinal cryosections from P18 pups in OIR or in RA. In hRMVECs transfected with NOX4 siRNA and treated with VEGF or control, 1) ROS generation was measured using the 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester fluorescence assay and 2) phosphorylated VEGF receptor 2 and STAT3, and total VEGFR2 and STAT3 were measured in western blot analyses. VEGF-stimulated hRMVEC proliferation was measured following transfection with NOX4 siRNA or STAT3 siRNA, or respective controls.
NOX4 was the most prevalent isoform of NADPH oxidase in vascular ECs. NOX4 expression in retinal lysates was significantly decreased during development in RA. Compared to RA, the expression of retinal NOX4 increased at P18. At p18 OIR, semiquantitative assessment of the density of lectin and NOX4 colabeling in retinal vascular ECs was greater in retinal cryosections and activated STAT3 was greater in retinal lysates when compared to the RA-raised pups. In cultured hRMVECs, knockdown of NOX4 by siRNA transfection inhibited VEGF-induced ROS generation. VEGF induced a physical interaction of phosphorylated-VEGFR2 and NOX4. Knockdown of NOX4: 1) reduced VEGFR2 activation but did not abolish it and 2) abolished STAT3 activation in response to VEGF. Knockdown of either NOX4 or STAT3 inhibited VEGF-induced EC proliferation.
Our data suggest that in a model representative of human retinopathy of prematurity, NOX4 was increased at a time point when IVNV developed. VEGF-activated NOX4 led to an interaction between VEGF-activated VEGFR2 and NOX4 that mediated EC proliferation via activation of STAT3. Altogether, our results suggest that NOX4 may regulate VEGFR2-mediated IVNV through activated STAT3.
PMCID: PMC3945806  PMID: 24623966
21.  Molecular Insights of p47phox Phosphorylation Dynamics in the Regulation of NADPH Oxidase Activation and Superoxide Production* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2014;289(33):22759-22770.
Background: p47phox is a regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase, which produces superoxide.
Results: We propose a molecular dynamics model of p47phox phosphorylation and assembly with p22phox in NADPH oxidase activation supported by biochemical experiments.
Conclusion: Ser-379 phosphorylation in the C-terminal tail is a molecular switch in p47phox activation.
Significance: This report provides novel structural and mechanistic information of p47phox activation.
Phagocyte superoxide production by a multicomponent NADPH oxidase is important in host defense against microbial invasion. However inappropriate NADPH oxidase activation causes inflammation. Endothelial cells express NADPH oxidase and endothelial oxidative stress due to prolonged NADPH oxidase activation predisposes many diseases. Discovering the mechanism of NADPH oxidase activation is essential for developing novel treatment of these diseases. The p47phox is a key regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase; however, due to the lack of full protein structural information, the mechanistic insight of p47phox phosphorylation in NADPH oxidase activation remains incomplete. Based on crystal structures of three functional domains, we generated a computational structural model of the full p47phox protein. Using a combination of in silico phosphorylation, molecular dynamics simulation and protein/protein docking, we discovered that the C-terminal tail of p47phox is critical for stabilizing its autoinhibited structure. Ser-379 phosphorylation disrupts H-bonds that link the C-terminal tail to the autoinhibitory region (AIR) and the tandem Src homology 3 (SH3) domains, allowing the AIR to undergo phosphorylation to expose the SH3 pocket for p22phox binding. These findings were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis and gene transfection of p47phox−/− coronary microvascular cells. Compared with wild-type p47phox cDNA transfected cells, the single mutation of S379A completely blocked p47phox membrane translocation, binding to p22phox and endothelial O2⨪ production in response to acute stimulation of PKC. p47phox C-terminal tail plays a key role in stabilizing intramolecular interactions at rest. Ser-379 phosphorylation is a molecular switch which initiates p47phox conformational changes and NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide production by cells.
PMCID: PMC4132782  PMID: 24970888
Computer Modeling; Endothelial Cell; Molecular Docking; Molecular Dynamics; NADPH Oxidase; Phosphorylation; Site-directed Mutagenesis
22.  A time course of NADPH-oxidase up-regulation and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation in the hippocampus following neurotrauma 
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NADPH-oxidase; NOX) is a complex enzyme responsible for increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide (O2.−). NOX derived O2.− is a key player in oxidative stress and inflammation mediated multiple secondary injury cascades (SIC) following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The O2.− reacts with nitric oxide (NO), produces various reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and contributes to apoptotic cell death. Following a unilateral cortical contusion, young adult rats were killed at various times post injury (1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h). Fresh tissue from the hippocampus was analyzed for NOX activity, and level of O2.−. In addition we evaluated the translocation of cytosolic NOX proteins (p67Phox, p47Phox and p40Phox) to the membrane, along with total NO and the activation (phosphorylation) of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (p-eNOS). Results show that both enzymes and levels of O2.− and NO have time dependent injury effects in the hippocampus. Translocation of cytosolic NOX proteins into membrane, NOX activity and O2.− were also increased in a time dependent fashion. Both, NOX activity and O2.− were increased at 6 h. Levels of p-eNOS increased within 1 h, with significant elevation of NO at 12 h post TBI. Levels of NO failed to show a significant association with p-eNOS, but did associate with O2.−. NOX up-regulation strongly associated with both the levels of O2.− and also total NO. The initial 12 hours post TBI are very important as a possible window of opportunity to interrupt SIC. It may be important to selectively target the translocation of cytosolic subunits for the modulation of NOX function.
PMCID: PMC4313124  PMID: 25224032
NADPH-oxidase; free radicals; secondary injury cascades; traumatic brain injury
23.  Cyclophilin A is required for Angiotensin II-induced p47phox Translocation to Caveolae in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells 
Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology  2013;33(9):10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.301894.
Angiotensin II (AngII) signal transduction in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) is mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cyclophilin A (CyPA) is a ubiquitously expressed cytosolic protein that possesses peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) activity, scaffold function and, significantly enhances AngII-induced ROS production in VSMC. We hypothesized that CyPA regulates AngII-induced ROS generation by promoting translocation of NADPH oxidase cytosolic subunit p47phox to caveolae of the plasma membrane.
Approach and Results
Overexpression of CyPA in CyPA deficient VSMC (CyPA−/−VSMC) significantly increased AngII-stimulated ROS production. NADPH oxidase inhibitors (VAS2870 or diphenylene iodonium) significantly attenuated AngII-induced ROS production in CyPA and p47phox overexpressing CyPA−/−VSMC. Cell fractionation and sucrose gradient analyses showed that AngII-induced p47phox plasma membrane translocation, specifically to the caveolae, was reduced in CyPA−/−VSMC compared to WT-VSMC. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that AngII increased p47phox and CyPA colocalization and translocation to the plasma membrane. In addition, immunoprecipitation of CyPA followed by immunoblotting for p47phox and actin showed that AngII increased CyPA and p47phox interaction. AngII-induced p47phox and actin cell cytoskeleton association was attenuated in CyPA−/−VSMC. Mechanistically, inhibition of p47phox phosphorylation and PX domain deletion attenuated CyPA and p47phox interaction. Finally, cyclosporine A and CyPA-PPIase mutant, R55A, inhibited AngII-stimulated CyPA and p47phox association in VSMC suggesting that PPIase activity was required for their interaction.
These findings provide the mechanism by which CyPA is an important regulator for AngII-induced ROS generation in VSMC through interaction with p47phox and cell cytoskeleton which enhances the translocation of the p47phox to the caveolae.
PMCID: PMC3817838  PMID: 23846495
reactive oxygen species; p47phox; cyclophilin A; cell cytoskeleton; Angiotensin II; vascular smooth muscle cells
24.  Ethanol Augments PDGF-Induced NADPH Oxidase Activity and Proliferation in Rat Pancreatic Stellate Cells 
Pancreatology  2007;7(4):332-340.
Activated stellate cells are considered the principal mediators of chronic alcoholic pancreatitis/fibrosis. However the mechanisms of alcohol action on pancreatic stellate cells (PaSCs) are poorly understood. The aims of this study were to determine the presence and role of the NADPH oxidase system in mediating alcohol effects on PaSCs with specific emphasis on proliferation.
PaSC NADPH oxidase components mRNA and protein were determined by RT-PCR and Western blot. The NADPH oxidase activity was measured by detecting the production of reactive oxygen species using lucigenin-derived chemiluminescence assay. PaSC DNA synthesis, a measure of proliferation, was performed by determining the [3H] thymidine incorporation into DNA.
mRNA for NADPH oxidase components Nox1, gp91phox, Nox4, p22phox, p47phox and p67phox and protein for NADPH oxidase subunits gp91phox, p22phox, p47phox and p67phox are present in PaSCs. Treatment with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) significantly increased the NADPH oxidase activity and DNA synthesis in cultured PaSCs. Alcohol treatment markedly augmented both the NADPH oxidase activity and the DNA synthesis caused by PDGF, which was prevented by antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine, ROS scavenger tiron, and the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenylene iodium. The effects of PDGF on NADPH oxidase activity and DNA synthesis were prevented in PaSCs isolated from the pancreas of mice with a genetic deficiency of p47phox.
Ethanol causes proliferation of stellate cells by augmenting the activation of the cell's NADPH oxidase system stimulated by PDGF. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms of alcohol-induced fibrosing disorders.
PMCID: PMC2826430  PMID: 17627098
NADPH oxidase; Reactive oxygen species; Proliferation; Platelet-derived growth factor; Ethanol
25.  NADPH oxidase and aging drive microglial activation, oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration following systemic LPS administration 
Glia  2013;61(6):855-868.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a progressive degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons with age. We previously found that a single systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) injection caused a slow progressive loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH+IR) neurons in SN associated with increasing motor dysfunction. In this study, we investigated the role of NADPH oxidase (NOX) in inflammation-mediated SN neurotoxicity. A comparison of control (NOX2+/+) mice with NOX subunit gp91phox-deficient (NOX2−/−) mice 10 months after LPS administration (5 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in a 39% (p<0.01) loss of TH+IR neurons in NOX2+/+ mice, whereas, NOX2−/− mice did not show a significant decrease. Microglia (Iba1+IR) showed morphological activation in NOX2+/+ mice, but not in NOX2−/− mice at 1 hour. Treatment of NOX2+/+ mice with LPS resulted in a 12 fold increase in NOX2 mRNA in midbrain and 5.5–6.5 fold increases in NOX2 protein (+IR) in SN compared to the saline controls. Brain reactive oxygen species (ROS), determined by hydroethidine histochemistry, was increased by LPS in SN between 1 hour and 20 months. Diphenyliodonium (DPI), a NOX inhibitor, blocked LPS-induced activation of microglia and production of ROS, TNFα, IL-1β, and MCP-1. Although LPS increased microglial activation and ROS at all ages studied, saline control NOX2+/+ mice showed age-related increases in microglial activation, NOX and ROS levels at 12 and 22 months of age. Together, these results suggest that NOX contributes to persistent microglial activation, ROS production and dopaminergic neurodegeneration that persist and continue to increase with age.
PMCID: PMC3631289  PMID: 23536230
neuroimmune; senescence; Parkinson’s disease; substantia nigra; endotoxin

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