Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important signal transduction molecules in ligand-induced signaling, regulation of cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and motility. Recently NADPH oxidases (Nox) homologous to Nox2 (gp91phox) of phagocyte cytochrome b558 have been identified, which are an enzymatic source for ROS generation in epithelial cells. This study was undertaken to delineate the requirements for ROS generation by Nox4. Nox4, in contrast to other Nox proteins, produces large amounts of hydrogen peroxide constitutively. Known cytosolic oxidase proteins or the GTPase Rac are not required for this activity. Nox4 associates with the protein p22phox on internal membranes, where ROS generation occurs. Knockdown and gene transfection studies confirmed that Nox4 requires p22 phox for ROS generation. Mutational analysis revealed structural requirements affecting expression of the p22phox protein and Nox activity. Mechanistic insight into ROS regulation is significant for understanding fundamental cell biology and pathophysiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Epithelial cells
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Nox4
  • Rac GTPase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Regulation
  • p22


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