'Oxidative stress' is a term defining states of elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Normally, ROS control several physiological processes, such as host defence, biosynthesis of hormones, fertilization and cellular signalling. However, oxidative stress has been involved in different pathologies, including metabolic syndrome and numerous cardiovascular diseases. A major source of ROS involved in both metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular pathophysiology is the NADPH oxidase (NOX) family of enzymes. NOX is a multi-component enzyme complex that consists of membrane-bound cytochrome b-558, which is a heterodimer of gp91phox and p22phox, cytosolic regulatory subunits p47phox and p67phox, and the small GTP-binding protein Rac1. Rac1 plays many important biological functions in cells, but perhaps the most unique function of Rac1 is its ability to bind and activate the NOX complex. Furthermore, Rac1 has been reported to be a key regulator of oxidative stress through its co-regulatory effects on both nitric oxide (NO) synthase and NOX. Therefore, the main goal of this review is to give a brief outline about the important role of the Rac1-NOX axis in the pathophysiology of both metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome; oxidative stress.
Copyright © 2013 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.