The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within immune cell phagosomes is critical for antimicrobial activity and for correct antigen processing, and influences signaling pathways that direct host responses to infection and inflammation. Because excess oxidants can cause tissue damage and oxidative stress, phagocytes must precisely control both the location and timing of NADPH oxidase activity. How differential regulation is achieved at phagosomes is not well understood. Recent studies have revealed that the PI(3)P phosphoinositide plays an important role in locally boosting phagosomal NADPH oxidase activity through its binding to the p40phox NADPH oxidase subunit. Furthermore, phox subunit dynamics at phagosomes may regulate the timing of the oxidative burst. Novel elements regulating catalytic core trafficking include Rab27 and SNAP-23. In addition to trafficking events, the activity of the electrogenic oxidase is also governed by ionic fluxes, which are constrained at phagosomes owing to low intraphagosomal volume and dynamic display of channels, transporters, and pumps. New insights on the interdependence of phagosomal pH and ROS have been recently elucidated, and chloride channels important for microbicidal functions, including CFTR, and CLIC family channels, have been identified. Finally, periphagosomal calcium microdomains and calcium-dependent S100A8/9 protein recruitment may help fine-tune spatiotemporal regulation of NADPH oxidase activation for an effective immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1131
Number of pages14
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Dendritic cell
  • Granulocyte
  • Hv1
  • Macrophage
  • NOX2
  • Neutrophil
  • P47
  • P67
  • STIM1
  • Superoxide


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