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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e39739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039739. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Angiotensin II-induced mitochondrial Nox4 is a major endogenous source of oxidative stress in kidney tubular cells.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.


Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced activation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) oxidase leads to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), an important intracellular second messenger in renal disease. Recent findings suggest that Ang II induces mitochondrial depolarization and further amplifies mitochondrial generation of ROS. We examined the hypothesis that ROS injury mediated by Ang II-induced mitochondrial Nox4 plays a pivotal role in mitochondrial dysfunction in tubular cells and is related to cell survival. In addition, we assessed whether angiotensin (1-7) peptide (Ang-(1-7)) was able to counteract Ang II-induced ROS-mediated cellular injury. Cultured NRK-52E cells were stimulated with 10(-6) M Ang II for 24 h with or without Ang-(1-7) or apocynin. Ang II simulated mitochondrial Nox4 and resulted in the abrupt production of mitochondrial superoxide (O(2) (-)) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Ang II also induced depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and cytosolic secretion of cytochrome C and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). Ang-(1-7) attenuated Ang II-induced mitochondrial Nox4 expression and apoptosis, and its effect was comparable to that of the NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor. These findings suggest that Ang II-induced activation of mitochondrial Nox4 is an important endogenous source of ROS, and is related to cell survival. The ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis should be investigated further as a novel target of Ang II-mediated ROS injury.

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