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Histochem Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;122(4):293-304. Epub 2004 Sep 9.

Regulation of the NADPH-oxidase complex of phagocytic leukocytes. Recent insights from structural biology, molecular genetics, and microscopy.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Ohio State University, 302 Hamilton Hall, 1645 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1239, USA.


The NADPH-oxidase complex is a multisubunit enzyme complex that catalyzes the formation of superoxide (O2-) by phagocytic leukocytes. This paper reviews some of the major advances in understanding the assembly and regulation of this enzyme system that have occurred during the past decade. For example, novel domains/motifs have been identified in p47-phox (PX and super SH3 domains) and p67-phox (tetratricopeptide repeat motifs). X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy have provided detailed structural data on these domains and how p47-phox and p67-phox interact with p22-phox and activated Rac, respectively. Site-directed mutagenesis and knockout experiments have identified the critical phosphorylation sites in p47-phox, revealed an "activation domain" in p67-phox, and demonstrated that a specific pathway exists for activating Rac to participate in oxidase assembly/activation. Cytochemistry and immunofluorescence microscopy have provided new insights into the assembly of the oxidase and reveal a level of complexity not previously appreciated.

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