Beyond Bacterial Killing: NADPH oxidase 2 is an immunomodulator

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30 Citations (Scopus)


NADPH oxidase 2 is a superoxide-generating enzymatic complex based on the catalytic subunit gp91phox that is also known as Nox2. Initially identified in neutrophils, NADPH oxidase 2 was long considered responsible only for the killing of phagocytized microorganisms. However, advances in knowledge about redox signalling and the discovery of Nox2 expression in different cell types, including macrophages, endothelial cells (ECs), dendritic cells (DCs), B and T lymphocytes, have changed this paradigm. For instance, Nox2 expressed in macrophages and neutrophils limits the transcription of cytokines and toll-like receptors (TLRs) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), whereas DC Nox2 facilitates antigen cross-presentation to T cells. More recently, our group observed that Nox2 inhibits the suppressive ability of regulatory T cells (Tregs) by limiting NF-κB and FoxP3 activation. In this review, we discuss non-canonical microbicidal functions and redox-signalling-associated roles of Nox2 in different cell types, emphasizing its roles in the innate and adaptive immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalImmunology Letters
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Redox signalling
  • Tregs
  • gp91phox
  • p47phox


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