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Immunol Res. 2009;43(1-3):198-209. doi: 10.1007/s12026-008-8071-8.

Redox warfare between airway epithelial cells and Pseudomonas: dual oxidase versus pyocyanin.

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Laboratory of Host Defenses, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 12441 Parklawn Drive, 20852, Rockville, MD, USA.


The importance of reactive oxygen species-dependent microbial killing by the phagocytic cell NADPH oxidase has been appreciated for some time, although only recently has an appreciation developed for the partnership of lactoperoxidase with related dual oxidases (Duox) within secretions of the airway surface layer. This system produces mild oxidants designed for extracellular killing that are effective against several airway pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Burkholderia cepacia, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Establishment of chronic pseudomonas infections involves adaptations to resist oxidant-dependent killing by expression of a redox-active virulence factor, pyocyanin, that competitively inhibits epithelial Duox activity by consuming intracellular NADPH and producing superoxide, thereby inflicting oxidative stress on the host.

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