NOX2-dependent regulation of inflammation

Clin Sci (Lond). 2016 Apr 1;130(7):479-90. doi: 10.1042/CS20150660.


NADPH oxidase (NOX) isoforms together have multiple functions that are important for normal physiology and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a broad range of diseases, including atherosclerosis, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The phagocyte NADPH oxidase (NOX2) is critical for antimicrobial host defence. Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is an inherited disorder of NOX2 characterized by severe life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections and by excessive inflammation, including Crohn's-like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). NOX2 defends against microbes through the direct antimicrobial activity of reactive oxidants and through activation of granular proteases and generation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETosis involves the breakdown of cell membranes and extracellular release of chromatin and neutrophil granular constituents that target extracellular pathogens. Although the immediate effects of oxidant generation and NETosis are predicted to be injurious, NOX2, in several contexts, limits inflammation and injury by modulation of key signalling pathways that affect neutrophil accumulation and clearance. NOX2 also plays a role in antigen presentation and regulation of adaptive immunity. Specific NOX2-activated pathways such as nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcriptional factor that induces antioxidative and cytoprotective responses, may be important therapeutic targets for CGD and, more broadly, diseases associated with excessive inflammation and injury.

Keywords: NADPH oxidase; NADPH oxidase.; NOX2; host defence; immune cells; immunology; inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Extracellular Traps / enzymology
  • Extracellular Traps / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / enzymology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Macrophages / enzymology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidases / immunology
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • Neutrophils / enzymology
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • CYBB protein, human
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidases