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Apocynin and Nox2 regulate NF-κB by modifying thioredoxin-1 redox-state

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Silvia Cellone Trevelin, Célio Xavier Dos Santos, Raphael Gomes Ferreira, Larissa de Sá Lima, Rangel Leal Silva, Cristoforo Scavone, Rui Curi, José Carlos Alves-Filho, Thiago Mattar Cunha, Pérsio Roxo-Júnior, Maria-Célia Cervi, Francisco Rafael Martins Laurindo, John Stephen Hothersall, Andrew M Cobb, Min Zhang, Aleksandar Ivetic, Ajay M Shah, Lucia Rossetti Lopes, Fernando Queiroz Cunha

Original languageEnglish
Article number34581
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2016

King's Authors


The reactive-oxygen-species-(ROS)-generating-enzyme Nox2 is essential for leukocyte anti-microbial activity. However its role in cellular redox homeostasis and, consequently, in modulating intracellular signaling pathways remains unclear. Herein, we show Nox2 activation favors thioredoxin-1 (TRX-1)/p40phox interaction, which leads to exclusion of TRX-1 from the nucleus. In contrast, the genetic deficiency of Nox2 or its pharmacological inhibition with apocynin (APO) results in reductive stress after lipopolysaccharide-(LPS)-cell stimulation, which causes nuclear accumulation of TRX-1 and enhanced transcription of inflammatory mediators through nuclear-factor-(NF)-κB. The NF-κB overactivation is prevented by TRX-1 oxidation using inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR-1). The Nox2/TRX-1/NF-κB intracellular signaling pathway is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and sepsis. In fact, TrxR-1 inhibition prevents nuclear accumulation of TRX-1 and LPS-stimulated hyperproduction of tumor-necrosis-factor-(TNF)-α by monocytes and neutrophils purified from blood of CGD patients, who have deficient Nox2 activity. TrxR-1 inhibitors, either lanthanum chloride (LaCl3) or auranofin (AUR), also increase survival rates of mice undergoing cecal-ligation-and-puncture-(CLP). Therefore, our results identify a hitherto unrecognized Nox2-mediated intracellular signaling pathway that contributes to hyperinflammation in CGD and in septic patients. Additionally, we suggest that TrxR-1 inhibitors could be potential drugs to treat patients with sepsis, particularly in those with CGD.

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