PtdIns(3)P regulates the neutrophil oxidase complex by binding to the PX domain of p40(phox)

Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Jul;3(7):679-82. doi: 10.1038/35083076.


The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by neutrophils has a vital role in defence against a range of infectious agents, and is driven by the assembly of a multi-protein complex containing a minimal core of five proteins: the two membrane-bound subunits of cytochrome b(558) (gp91(phox) and p22(phox)) and three soluble factors (GTP-Rac, p47(phox) and p67(phox) (refs 1, 2). This minimal complex can reconstitute ROS formation in vitro in the presence of non-physiological amphiphiles such as SDS. p40(phox) has subsequently been discovered as a binding partner for p67(phox) (ref. 3), but its role in ROS formation is unclear. Phosphoinositide-3-OH kinases (PI(3)Ks) have been implicated in the intracellular signalling pathways coordinating ROS formation but through an unknown mechanism. We show that the addition of p40(phox) to the minimal core complex allows a lipid product of PI(3)Ks, phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P), to stimulate specifically the formation of ROS. This effect was mediated by binding of PtdIns(3)P to the PX domain of p40(phox). These results offer new insights into the roles for PI(3)Ks and p40(phox) in ROS formation and define a cellular ligand for the orphan PX domain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cytochrome b Group / drug effects
  • Cytochrome b Group / metabolism
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Neutrophils / enzymology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidoreductases / blood*
  • Oxidoreductases / drug effects*
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / pharmacology*
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Swine


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Phosphoproteins
  • neutrophil cytosol factor 40K
  • phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate
  • Superoxides
  • Oxidoreductases