Nox1-dependent reactive oxygen generation is regulated by Rac1

J Biol Chem. 2006 Jun 30;281(26):17718-26. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M512751200. Epub 2006 Apr 24.


Rac1 has been implicated in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in several cell types, but the enzymatic origin of the ROS has not been proven. The present studies demonstrate that Nox1, a homolog of the phagocyte NADPH-oxidase component gp91(phox), is activated by Rac1. When Nox1 is co-expressed along with its regulatory subunits NOXO1 and NOXA1, significant ROS generation is seen. Herein, co-expression of constitutively active Rac1(G12V), but not wild-type Rac1, resulted in marked further stimulation of activity. Decreased Rac1 expression using small interfering RNA reduced Nox1-dependent ROS. CDC42(G12V) failed to increase activity, and small interfering RNA directed against CDC42 failed to decrease activity, pointing to specificity for Rac. TPR domain mutants of NOXA1 that interfere with Rac1 binding were ineffective in supporting Nox1-dependent ROS generation. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated a complex containing Rac1(G12V), NOXO1, NOXA1, and Nox1. CDC42(G12V) could not substitute for Rac1(G12V) in such a complex. Nox1 formed a complex with Rac1(G12V) that was independent of NOXA1 and NOXO1, consistent with direct binding of Rac1(G12V) to Nox1. Rac1(G12V) interaction with NOXA1 was enhanced by Nox1 and NOXO1, suggesting cooperative binding. A model is presented comparing activation by regulatory subunits of Nox1 versus gp91(phox) (Nox2) in which Rac1 activation provides a major trigger that acutely activates Nox1-dependent ROS generation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Mutagenesis
  • NADPH Oxidase 1
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidases / chemistry
  • NADPH Oxidases / genetics
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Phagocytes / enzymology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / genetics
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • CYBB protein, human
  • NADPH Oxidase 1
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • NOX1 protein, human
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein