Compartmentalization of redox signaling through NADPH oxidase-derived ROS

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Jun;11(6):1289-99. doi: 10.1089/ars.2008.2333.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated in response to growth factors, cytokines, G protein-coupled receptor agonists, or shear stress, and function as signaling molecules in nonphagocytes. However, it is poorly understood how freely diffusible ROS can activate specific signaling, so-called "redox signaling." NADPH oxidases are a major source of ROS and now recognized to have specific subcellular localizations, and this targeting to specific compartments is required for localized ROS production. One important mechanism may involve the interaction of oxidase subunits with various targeting proteins localized in lamellipodial leading edge and focal adhesions/complexes. ROS are believed to inactivate protein tyrosine phosphatases, thereby establishing a positive-feedback system that promotes activation of specific redox signaling pathways involved in various functions. Additionally, ROS production may be localized through interactions of NADPH oxidase with signaling platforms associated with caveolae/lipid rafts, endosomes, and nucleus. These indicate that the specificity of ROS-mediated signal transduction may be modulated by the localization of Nox isoforms and their regulatory subunits within specific subcellular compartments. This review summarizes the recent progress on compartmentalization of redox signaling via activation of NADPH oxidase, which is implicated in cell biology and pathophysiologies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • NADPH Oxidases