NQO1 (NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1) reduces quinones and xenobiotics to less-reactive compounds via 2-electron reduction, one feature responsible for the role of NQO1 in antioxidant defense in several tissues. In contrast, NADPH cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYP450OR), catalyzes the 1-electron reduction of quinones and xenobiotics, resulting in enhanced superoxide formation. However, to date, the roles of NQO1 and CYP450OR in pancreatic β-cell metabolism under basal conditions and oxidant challenge have not been characterized. Using NQO1 inhibition, over-expression and knock out, we have demonstrated that, in addition to protection of β-cells from toxic concentrations of the redox cycling quinone menadione, NQO1 also regulates the basal level of reduced-to-oxidized nucleotides, suggesting other role(s) beside that of an antioxidant enzyme. In contrast, over-expression of NADPH cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYP450OR) resulted in enhanced redox cycling activity and decreased cellular viability, consistent with the enhanced generation of superoxide and H2O2. Basal expression of NQO1 and CYP450OR was comparable in isolated islets and liver. However, NQO1, but not CYP450OR, was strongly induced in β-cells exposed to menadione. NQO1 and CYP450OR exhibited a reciprocal preference for reducing equivalents in β-cells: while CYP450OR preferentially utilized NADPH, NQO1 primarily utilized NADH. Together, these results demonstrate that NQO1 and CYP450OR reciprocally regulate oxidant metabolism in pancreatic β-cells.
Keywords: CYP450OR; Menadione; NAD(P)H; NQO1; Pancreatic β-cell; Redox cycling.
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