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Pharmacol Rev. 2011 Mar;63(1):218-42. doi: 10.1124/pr.110.002980. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

NADPH oxidase-mediated redox signaling: roles in cellular stress response, stress tolerance, and tissue repair.

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Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Remodeling and Function Research, Chinese Ministry of Education, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107 Wen Hua Xi Road, Jinan, Shandong 250012, China.


NADPH oxidase (Nox) has a dedicated function of generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Accumulating evidence suggests that Nox has an important role in signal transduction in cellular stress responses. We have reviewed the current evidence showing that the Nox system can be activated by a collection of chemical, physical, and biological cellular stresses. In many circumstances, Nox activation fits to the cellular stress response paradigm, in that (1) the response can be initiated by various forms of cellular stresses; (2) Nox-derived ROS may activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (extracellular signal-regulated kinase, p38) and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, which are the core of the cell stress-response signaling network; and (3) Nox is involved in the development of stress cross-tolerance. Activation of the cell survival pathway by Nox may promote cell adaptation to stresses, whereas Nox may also convey signals toward apoptosis in irreversibly injured cells. At later stage after injury, Nox is involved in tissue repair by modulating cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and fibrosis. We suggest that Nox may have an integral role in cell stress responses and the subsequent tissue repair process. Understanding Nox-mediated redox signaling mechanisms may be of prominent significance at the crossroads of directing cellular responses to stress, aiming at either enhancing the stress resistance (in such situations as preventing ischemia-reperfusion injuries and accelerating wound healing) or sensitizing the stress-induced cytotoxicity for proliferative diseases such as cancer. Therefore, an optimal outcome of interventions on Nox will only be achieved when this is dealt with in a timely and disease-and stage-specific manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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