Receptor activation of NADPH oxidases

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Aug 15;13(4):467-87. doi: 10.1089/ars.2009.3026.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in many intra- and intercellular processes. High levels of ROS are generated as part of the innate immunity in the respiratory burst of phagocytic cells. Low levels of ROS, however, are generated in a highly controlled manner by various cell types to act as second messengers in redox-sensitive pathways. A NADPH oxidase has been initially described as the respiratory burst enzyme in neutrophils. Stimulation of this complex enzyme system requires specific signaling cascades linking it to membrane-receptor activation. Subsequently, a family of NADPH oxidases has been identified in various nonphagocytic cells. They mainly differ in containing one out of seven homologous catalytic core proteins termed NOX1 to NOX5 and DUOX1 or 2. NADPH oxidase activity is controlled by regulatory subunits, including the NOX regulators p47phox and p67phox, their homologs NOXO1 and NOXA1, or the DUOX1 or 2 regulators DUOXA1 and 2. In addition, the GTPase Rac modulates activity of several of these enzymes. Recently, additional proteins have been identified that seem to have a regulatory function on NADPH oxidase activity under certain conditions. We will thus summarize molecular pathways linking activation of different membrane-bound receptors with increased ROS production of NADPH oxidases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • NADPH Oxidases / genetics
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • NADPH Oxidases