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Isr Med Assoc J. 2002 Nov;4(11):1023-4.

The leukocyte NADPH oxidase.

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Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA.


The leukocyte NADPH oxidase catalyzes the reduction of oxygen to O2- (superoxide) at the expense of NADPH. The O2- then dismutes to H2O2, which serves to oxidize Cl- to HOCl, a potent microbicidal agent that is used by leukocytes to kill invading microorganisms. This oxidation is catalyzed by myeloperoxidase. O2 is also used to make other microbicidal oxidants, some in reactions with nitric oxide. The oxidase itself is highly complex, consisting of four unique subunits and Rac2. In the resting cell, two of the subunits, p22PHOX and gp91PHOX, are located in the membrane, and the other two, p47PHOX and p67PHOX, are in the cytosol. The electron-carrying components of the oxidase are located in gp91PHOX; the NADPH binding site is generally regarded to be in gp91PHOX as well, but there is some evidence that it may be in p67PHOX. When the oxidase is activated, p47PHOX is phosphorylated at specific sites, and the cytosolic components plus Rac2 migrate to the membrane to assemble the active oxidase.

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