(NADPH OXIDASE PAGE]

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NADPH Oxidase. Neutrophils and other phagocytic cells produce superoxide as part of their bactericidal mechanisms. Superoxide can react to form hydrogen peroxide, HOCl, and perhaps hydroxyl radical. Together, these oxygen-derived species participate in bacterial killing. The enzyme which catalyzes the production of superoxide is the NADPH oxidase or respiratory burst oxidase. The importance of the respiratory burst oxidase is illustrated by the inherited condition Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD) in which a component of the respiratory burst oxidase is absent or defective. Affected individuals suffer from recurrent, chronic and severe infections due to the inability of their neutrophils to kill microbes. Similar enzymes in other tissues produce superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, and in non-phagocytic tissues, these species may be involved as signal molecules regulating transcription, apoptosis and cell division. The Lambeth Lab studies the respiratory burst oxidase as a model for a signal transduction effector responses.