Rho GTPases pp 195-212 | Cite as

Assessment of the Role for Rho Family GTPases in NADPH Oxidase Activation

  • Kei Miyano
  • Hideki SumimotoEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 827)


Rac, a member of the Rho family small GTPases, plays a crucial role in activation of Nox family NADPH oxidases in animals, enzymes dedicated to production of reactive oxygen species such as superoxide. The phagocyte oxidase Nox2, crucial for microbicidal activity during phagocytosis, is activated in a manner completely dependent on Rac. Rac in the GTP-bound form directly binds to the oxidase activator p67 phox , which in turn interacts with Nox2, leading to superoxide production. Rac also participates in activation of the nonphagocytic oxidase Nox1; in this case, GTP-bound Rac functions by interacting with Noxa1, a p67 phox -related protein that is required for Nox1 activation. On the other hand, in the presence of either p67 phox or Noxa1, Rac facilitates superoxide production by Nox3, which is responsible in the inner ear for formation of otoconia, tiny mineralized structures that are required for sensing balance and gravity. All the three mammalian homologs of Rac (Rac1, Rac2, and Rac3), but not Cdc42 or RhoA, are capable of serving as an activator of Nox1–3. Here, we describe methods for the assay of Rac binding to p67 phox and Noxa1 and for the reconstitution of Rac-dependent Nox activity in cell-free and whole-cell systems.

Key words

NADPH oxidase Nox1 Nox2 Nox3 Superoxide Rac p67phox Noxa1 



This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research and Targeted Proteins Research Program (TPRP) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan, and by Japan Foundation for Applied Enzymology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryKyushu University Graduate School of Medical SciencesFukuokaJapan

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