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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Mar;50(3):408-16. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2010.12.018. Epub 2011 Jan 6.

Regulation of myocardial growth and death by NADPH oxidase.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


The NADPH oxidases (Nox) are transmembrane proteins dedicated to producing reactive oxygen species (ROS), including superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, by transferring electrons from NAD(P)H to molecular oxygen. Nox2 and Nox4 are expressed in the heart and play an important role in mediating oxidative stress at baseline and under stress. Nox2 is primarily localized on the plasma membrane, whereas Nox4 is found primarily on intracellular membranes, on mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum or the nucleus. Although Nox2 plays an important role in mediating angiotensin II-induced cardiac hypertrophy, Nox4 mediates cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure in response to pressure overload. Expression of Nox4 is upregulated by hypertrophic stimuli, and Nox4 in mitochondria plays an essential role in mediating oxidative stress during pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Upregulation of Nox4 induces oxidation of mitochondrial proteins, including aconitase, thereby causing mitochondrial dysfunction and myocardial cell death. On the other hand, Noxs also appear to mediate physiological functions, such as erythropoiesis and angiogenesis. In this review, we discuss the role of Noxs in mediating oxidative stress and both pathological and physiological functions of Noxs in the heart.

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