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Biochemistry. 2001 Mar 13;40(10):3127-33.

Small angle neutron scattering and gel filtration analyses of neutrophil NADPH oxidase cytosolic factors highlight the role of the C-terminal end of p47phox in the association with p40phox.

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Institut de Biologie Structurale, CEA-CNRS-UJF, UMR 5075, 41 rue Jules Horowitz, 38027 Grenoble Cedex 1, France.


The NADPH oxidase of phagocytic cells is regulated by the cytosolic factors p47(phox), p67(phox), and p40(phox) as well as by the Rac1-Rho-GDI heterodimer. The regulation is a consequence of protein-protein interactions involving a variety of protein domains that are well characterized in signal transduction. We have studied the behavior of the NADPH oxidase cytosolic factors in solution using small angle neutron scattering and gel filtration. p47(phox), two truncated forms of p47(phox), namely, p47(phox) without its C-terminal end (residues 1-358) and p47(phox) without its N-terminal end (residues 147-390), and p40(phox) were found to be monomeric in solution. The dimeric form of p67(phox) previously observed by gel filtration experiments was confirmed. Our small angle neutron scattering experiments show that p40(phox) binds to the full-length p47(phox) in solution in the absence of phosphorylation. We demonstrated that the C-terminal end of p47(phox) is essential in this interaction. From the comparison of the presence or absence of interaction with various truncated forms of the proteins, we confirmed that the SH3 domain of p40(phox) interacts with the C-terminal proline rich region of p47(phox). The radii of gyration observed for p47(phox) and the truncated forms of p47(phox) (without the C-terminal end or without the N-terminal end) show that all these molecules are elongated and that the N-terminal end of p47(phox) is globular. These results suggest that the role of amphiphiles such as SDS or arachidonic acid or of p47(phox) phosphorylation in the elicitation of NADPH oxidase activation could be to disrupt the p40(phox)-p47(phox) complex rather than to break an intramolecular interaction in p47(phox).

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