Gene Summary

Gene:NOX4; NADPH oxidase 4
Aliases: KOX, KOX-1, RENOX
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the NOX-family of enzymes that functions as the catalytic subunit the NADPH oxidase complex. The encoded protein is localized to non-phagocytic cells where it acts as an oxygen sensor and catalyzes the reduction of molecular oxygen to various reactive oxygen species (ROS). The ROS generated by this protein have been implicated in numerous biological functions including signal transduction, cell differentiation and tumor cell growth. A pseudogene has been identified on the other arm of chromosome 11. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants.[provided by RefSeq, Jan 2009]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:NADPH oxidase 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (31)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: NOX4 (cancer-related)

Kostyuk SV, Mordkovich NN, Okorokova NA, et al.
Increased Transfection of the Easily Oxidizable GC-Rich DNA Fragments into the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019; 2019:2348165 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Objective: Easily oxidizable GC-rich DNA (GC-DNA) fragments accumulate in the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of patients with various diseases. The human oxidized DNA penetrates the MCF7 breast cancer cells and significantly changes their physiology. It can be assumed that readily oxidizable GC-DNA fragments can penetrate the cancer cells and be expressed.
Methods: MCF7 cells were cultured in the presence of two types of GC-DNA probes: (1) vectors pBR322 and pEGFP and (2) plasmids carrying inserted human rDNA (pBR322-rDNA and pEGFP-rDNA). pEGFP and pEGFP-rDNA contained a CMV promoter and a fluorescent protein gene
Results: When GC-DNA is added to the cell culture medium, it interacts with the cell surface. At the site of GC-DNA contact with the cell, NOX4 is expressed, and ROS level increases. The ROS oxidize the GC-DNA. When using the plasmids pEGFP and pEGFP-rDNA, an increase in the amount of the DNA
Conclusions: GC-rich cfDNA fragments that are prone to oxidation can easily penetrate the cancer cells and be expressed. The cfDNA should become a target for the antitumor therapy.

Doppler W, Jansen-Dürr P
Regulation of mitochondrial ROS production by HIC-5: a common feature of oncogene-induced senescence and tumor invasiveness?
FEBS J. 2019; 286(3):456-458 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transformation by the ras oncogene can result in promotion of metastasis as well as induction of senescence via increased tissue remodeling, for example, by matrix metalloproteases. Increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) via NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is implicated in this process. Hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone-5 (HIC-5) is postulated to sense both matrix detachment of transformed cells and intracellular ROS and can inhibit ras signaling via inhibition of NOX4.

Han Z, Kang D, Joo Y, et al.
TGF-β downregulation-induced cancer cell death is finely regulated by the SAPK signaling cascade.
Exp Mol Med. 2018; 50(12):162 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling is increasingly recognized as a key driver in cancer. In progressive cancer tissues, TGF-β promotes tumor formation, and its increased expression often correlates with cancer malignancy. In this study, we utilized adenoviruses expressing short hairpin RNAs against TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 to investigate the role of TGF-β downregulation in cancer cell death. We found that the downregulation of TGF-β increased the phosphorylation of several SAPKs, such as p38 and JNK. Moreover, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was also increased by TGF-β downregulation, which triggered Akt inactivation and NOX4 increase-derived ROS in a cancer cell-type-specific manner. We also revealed the possibility of substantial gene fluctuation in response to TGF-β downregulation related to SAPKs. The expression levels of Trx and GSTM1, which encode inhibitory proteins that bind to ASK1, were reduced, likely a result of the altered translocation of Smad complex proteins rather than from ROS production. Instead, both ROS and ROS-mediated ER stress were responsible for the decrease in interactions between ASK1 and Trx or GSTM1. Through these pathways, ASK1 was activated and induced cytotoxic tumor cell death via p38/JNK activation and (or) induction of ER stress.

Mori K, Uchida T, Yoshie T, et al.
A mitochondrial ROS pathway controls matrix metalloproteinase 9 levels and invasive properties in RAS-activated cancer cells.
FEBS J. 2019; 286(3):459-478 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are tissue-remodeling enzymes involved in the processing of various biological molecules. MMPs also play important roles in cancer metastasis, contributing to angiogenesis, intravasation of tumor cells, and cell migration and invasion. Accordingly, unraveling the signaling pathways controlling MMP activities could shed additional light on cancer biology. Here, we report a molecular axis, comprising the molecular adaptor hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone-5 (HIC-5), NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), and mitochondria-associated reactive oxygen species (mtROS), that regulates MMP9 expression and may be a target to suppress cancer metastasis. We found that this axis primarily downregulates mtROS levels which stabilize MMP9 mRNA. Specifically, HIC-5 suppressed the expression of NOX4, the source of the mtROS, thereby decreasing mtROS levels and, consequently, destabilizing MMP9 mRNA. Interestingly, among six cancer cell lines, only EJ-1 and MDA-MB-231 cells exhibited upregulation of NOX4 and MMP9 expression after shRNA-mediated HIC-5 knockdown. In these two cell lines, activating RAS mutations commonly occur, suggesting that the HIC-5-mediated suppression of NOX4 depends on RAS signaling, a hypothesis that was supported experimentally by the introduction of activated RAS into mammary epithelial cells. Notably, HIC-5 knockdown promoted lung metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cancer cells in mice. The tumor growth of HIC-5-silenced MDA-MB-231 cells at the primary sites was comparable to that of control cells. Consistently, the invasive properties of the cells, but not their proliferation, were enhanced by the HIC-5 knockdown in vitro. We conclude that NOX4-mediated mtROS signaling increases MMP9 mRNA stability and affects cancer invasiveness but not tumor growth.

Ham J, Lee S, Lee H, et al.
Genome-Wide Methylation Analysis Identifies NOX4 and KDM5A as Key Regulators in Inhibiting Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation by Ginsenoside Rg3.
Am J Chin Med. 2018; 46(6):1333-1355 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ginsenoside Rg3 is a key metabolite of ginseng and is known to inhibit cancer cell growth. However, the epigenetics of CpG methylation and its regulatory mechanism have yet to be determined. Genome-wide methylation analysis of MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with Rg3 was performed to identify epigenetically regulated genes and pathways. The effect of Rg3 on apoptosis and cell proliferation was examined by a colony formation assay and a dye-based cell proliferation assay. The association between methylation and gene expression was monitored by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Genome-wide methylation analysis identified the "cell morphology"-related pathway as the top network. Rg3 induced late stage apoptosis but inhibited cell proliferation up to 60%. Hypermethylated TRMT1L, PSMC6 and NOX4 were downregulated by Rg3, while hypomethylated ST3GAL4, RNLS and KDM5A were upregulated. In accordance, downregulation of NOX4 by siRNA abrogated the cell growth effect of Rg3, while the effect was opposite for KDM5A. Notably, breast cancer patients with a higher expression of NOX4 and KDM5A showed poor and good prognosis of survival, respectively. In conclusion, Rg3 deregulated tumor-related genes through alteration of the epigenetic methylation level leading to growth inhibition of cancer cells.

Cho SY, Kim JS, Eun HS, et al.
Expression of NOX Family Genes and Their Clinical Significance in Colorectal Cancer.
Dig Dis Sci. 2018; 63(9):2332-2340 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The NADPH oxidase (NOX) family is overexpressed in many cancers and is associated with cancer cell proliferation and metastasis; however, little is known about the role of the NOX family in colorectal cancer (CRC).
AIMS: To identify the expression of the NOX family in CRC and to investigate the relationship between the expression of NOXs with the prognosis of the patients.
METHODS: In the TCGA data portal, mRNA expression data were obtained from 41 normal samples and 458 CRC samples to analyze mRNA expression and gene alteration. We compared the survival differences according to the degree of expression of NOX family in CRC patients and performed Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA).
RESULTS: The mRNA expression of NOX1, 3, 4, and DUOX1, 2 was significantly increased in the colorectal adenocarcinoma. Especially, the higher T and N stage, the more NOX4 expression was significantly increased. Survival analyses showed that NOX4 and NOX5 were associated with poor prognosis; however, NOX1 and DUOX2 were significantly associated with better prognosis. In the results of GSEA of CRC patients, the NOX4 gene was significantly associated with Angiogenesis, EMT and notch signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: The NOX family is overexpressed in CRC and is associated with the prognosis of the patient. Therefore, NOX family can predict CRC patient survival and the role of the NOX family as a molecular target in the treatment of CRC.

Li L, Zhong Y, Ma Z, et al.
Methyl ferulic acid exerts anti-apoptotic effects on L-02 cells via the ROS-mediated signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(1):225-236 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the anti-apoptotic effects of methyl ferulic acid (MFA) on L-02 cell apoptosis induced by ethanol, and to elucidate the possible underlying mechanisms. L-02 cells were examined after being soaked in ethanol (400 mM) to allow the ethanol to permeate into the cells for 24 h. Cell survival was measured by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was assessed by both flow cytometry and single-stranded DNA assays. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was determined using the 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate dye. The protein expression levels of p38, p-p38, JNK, p-JNK, NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), p22, Bax and Bcl-2 were measured by western blot analysis. The mRNA expression levels of NOX4 and p22 were measured by RT-PCR. It was identified that MFA markedly suppressed the ethanol-induced apoptosis and necrosis of L-02 cells. In addition, MFA decreased the expression levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase and phospholipid hydroperoxide gluthione peroxidase, and downregulated the levels of Bax/Bcl-2 and the cleaved forms of caspase-3 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This indicated that MFA attenuated the apoptosis of L-02 cells. MFA also decreased the elevated mRNA and protein expression levels of Nox4 and p22phox, and the production of intracellular ROS triggered by ethanol. Further analysis demonstrated that MFA significantly attenuated the phosphorylation of JNK and p38, which are major components of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. On the whole, the findings of this study demonstrated that MFA attenuated the apoptotic cell death of L-02 cells by reducing the generation of ROS and inactivating the MAPK pathways.

Wang Z, Ding Y, Wang X, et al.
Pseudolaric acid B triggers ferroptosis in glioma cells via activation of Nox4 and inhibition of xCT.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 428:21-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ferroptosis is a form of programmed cell death decided by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation, but its role in glioma cell death remains unclear. In this study, we found Pseudolaric acid B (PAB) inhibited the viabilities of glioma cells in vitro and in vivo, which was accompanied by abnormal increases of intracellular ferrous iron, H

Hou D, Liu Z, Xu X, et al.
Increased oxidative stress mediates the antitumor effect of PARP inhibition in ovarian cancer.
Redox Biol. 2018; 17:99-111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PARP inhibitors have been widely tested in clinical trials, especially for the treatment of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and were shown to be highly successful. Because PARP primarily functions in sensing and repairing DNA strand breaks, the therapeutic effect of PARP inhibition is generally believed to be attributed to impaired DNA repair. We here report that oxidative stress is also increased by PARP inhibition and mediates the antitumor effect. We showed that PARP1 is highly expressed in specimens of high grade serous ovarian carcinoma and its activity is required for unperturbed proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. Inhibition or depletion of PARP leads to not only an increase in DNA damage, but also an elevation in the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Importantly, antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) significantly attenuated the induction of DNA damage and the perturbation of proliferation by PARP inhibition or depletion. We further showed that NADPH oxidases 1 and 4 were significantly upregulated by PARP inhibition and were partially responsible for the induction of oxidative stress. Depletion of NOX1 and NOX4 partially rescued the growth inhibition of PARP1-deficient tumor xenografts. Our findings suggest that in addition to compromising the repair of DNA damage, PARP inhibition or depletion may exert extra antitumor effect by elevating oxidative stress in ovarian cancer cells.

Murley JS, Arbiser JL, Weichselbaum RR, Grdina DJ
ROS modifiers and NOX4 affect the expression of the survivin-associated radio-adaptive response.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2018; 123:39-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
The survivin-associated radio-adaptive response can be induced following exposure to ionizing radiation in the dose range from 5 to 100 mGy, and its magnitude of expression is dependent upon the TP53 mutational status of cells and ROS signaling. The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential role of ROS in the development of the survivin-associated adaptive response. Utilizing human colon carcinoma HCT116 TP53 wild type (WT) and HCT116 isogenic TP53 null mutant (Mut) cell cultures, the roles of inter- and intracellular ROS signaling on expression of the adaptive response as evidenced by changes in intracellular translocation of survivin measured by ELISA, and cell survival determined by a standard colony forming assay were investigated using ROS modifying agents that include emodin, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), fulvene-5, honokiol, metformin and rotenone. The role of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) in the survivin-associated adaptive response was investigated by transfecting HCT116 cells, both WT and Mut, with two different NOX4 siRNA oligomers and Western blotting. A dose of 5 mGy or a 15 min exposure to 50 µM of the ROS producing drug emodin were equally effective in inducing a pro-survival adaptive response in TP53 WT and a radio-sensitization adaptive response in TP53 Mut HCT116 cells. Each response was associated with a corresponding translocation of survivin into the cytoplasm or nucleus, respectively. Exposure to 10 mM NAC completely inhibited both responses. Exposure to 10 µM honokiol induced responses similar to those observed following NAC exposure in TP53 WT and Mut cells. The mitochondrial complex 1 inhibitor rotenone was effective in reducing both cytoplasmic and nuclear survivin levels, but was ineffective in altering the expression of the adaptive response in either TP53 WT or Mut cells. In contrast, both metformin and fulvene-5, inhibitors of NOX4, facilitated the reversal of TP53 WT and Mut adaptive responses from pro-survival to radio-sensitization and vice versa, respectively. These changes were accompanied by corresponding reversals in the translocation of survivin to the nuclei of TP53 WT and to the cytoplasm of TP53 Mut cells. The potential role of NOX4 in the expression of the survivin-associated adaptive response was investigated by transfecting HCT116 cells with NOX4 siRNA oligomers to inhibit NOX4 expression. Under these conditions NOX4 expression was inhibited by about 50%, resulting in a reversal in the expression of the TP53 WT and Mut survivin-associated adaptive responses as was observed following metformin and fulvene-5 treatment. Exposure to 5 mGy resulted in enhanced NOX4 expression by about 40% in both TP53 WT and Mut cells, in contrast to only a 1-2% increase following a 2 Gy only exposure. Utilizing mixed cultures of HCT116 TP53 WT and isogenic null Mut cells, as few as 10% TP53 Mut cells were sufficient to control the expression of the remaining 90% WT cells and resulted in an overall radio-sensitization response accompanied by the nuclear translocation of survivin characteristic of homogeneous TP53 Mut populations.

Yu T, Li L, Liu W, et al.
Silencing of NADPH Oxidase 4 Attenuates Hypoxia Resistance in Neuroblastoma Cells SH-SY5Y by Inhibiting PI3K/Akt-Dependent Glycolysis.
Oncol Res. 2019; 27(5):525-532 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-induced chemoresistance is a major obstacle in the development of effective cancer therapy. In our study, the reversal abilities of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) silence on hypoxia resistance and the potential mechanism were investigated. Our data showed that the expression of NOX4 was upregulated in human neuroblastoma cells SH-SY5Y under hypoxia condition time dependently. Knockdown of NOX4 expression by siRNA inhibited glycolysis induced by hypoxia through decreasing the expression of glycolysis-related proteins (HIF-1α, LDHA, and PDK1), decreasing glucose uptake, lactate production, and ROS production, while increasing mitochondria membrane potential. Moreover, NOX4 silence inhibited cell growth under hypoxia condition through suppressing cell proliferation and proliferation-related proteins (Ki-67 and PCNA) compared with the hypoxia 24 h + siRNA NC group. Further, Western blot experiments exhibited that NOX4 siRNA could downregulate the rate of p-Akt/Akt. Treatment with PI3K/Akt signaling activator IGF-1 blocked, while treatment with Akt inhibitor perifosine enhanced the inhibitory effect of si-NOX4 on glycolysis and cell growth. In summary, knockdown of NOX4 had the ability of reversing hypoxia resistance, and the major mechanism is considered to be the inhibition of glycolysis and cell growth via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Therefore, NOX4 could be a novel target against hypoxia resistance in neuroblastoma.

Witte D, Bartscht T, Kaufmann R, et al.
TGF-β1-induced cell migration in pancreatic carcinoma cells is RAC1 and NOX4-dependent and requires RAC1 and NOX4-dependent activation of p38 MAPK.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 38(6):3693-3701 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cell invasion of cancer cells in part through the small GTPase RAC1. Since RAC1 can signal through reactive oxygen species (ROS), we probed the role of the ROS-producing NADPH oxidase (NOX) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in mediating TGF-β1/RAC1-driven random cell migration (chemokinesis). Although the NOX isoforms NOX2, 4, 5, 6, and RAC1 were readily detectable by RT-PCR in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)-derived Panc1 and Colo357 cells, only NOX4 and RAC1 were expressed at higher levels comparable to those in peripheral blood monocytes. TGF-β1 treatment resulted in upregulation of NOX4 (and NOX2) and rapid intracellular production of ROS. To analyze whether RAC1 functions through NOX and ROS to promote cell motility, we performed real-time cell migration assays with xCELLigence® technology in the presence of the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and various NOX inhibitors. NAC, the NOX4 inhibitor diphenylene iodonium or small interfering RNA (siRNA) to NOX4, and the NOX2 inhibitor apocynin all suppressed TGF-β1-induced chemokinesis of Panc1 and Colo357 cells as did various inhibitors of RAC1 used as control. In addition, we showed that blocking NOX4 or RAC1 function abrogated phosphorylation of p38 MAPK signaling by TGF-β1 and that inhibition of p38 MAPK reduced TGF-β1-induced random cell migration, while ectopic expression of a kinase-active version of the p38 activating kinase MKK6 was able to partially rescue the decline in migration after RAC1 inhibition. Our data suggest that TGF-β1-induced chemokinesis in PDAC cells is mediated through a RAC1/NOX4/ROS/p38 MAPK cascade.

Moreno-Càceres J, Caballero-Díaz D, Nwosu ZC, et al.
The level of caveolin-1 expression determines response to TGF-β as a tumour suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(10):e3098 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous tumour associated with poor prognostic outcome. Caveolin-1 (CAV1), a membrane protein involved in the formation of caveolae, is frequently overexpressed in HCC. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic cytokine having a dual role in hepatocarcinogenesis: inducer of apoptosis at early phases, but pro-tumourigenic once cells acquire mechanisms to overcome its suppressor effects. Apoptosis induced by TGF-β is mediated by upregulation of the NADPH oxidase NOX4, but counteracted by transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway. Previous data suggested that CAV1 is required for the anti-apoptotic signals triggered by TGF-β in hepatocytes. Whether this mechanism is relevant in hepatocarcinogenesis has not been explored yet. Here we analysed the TGF-β response in HCC cell lines that express different levels of CAV1. Accordingly, stable CAV1 knockdown or overexpressing cell lines were generated. We demonstrate that CAV1 is protecting HCC cells from TGF-β-induced apoptosis, which attenuates its suppressive effect on clonogenic growth and increases its effects on cell migration. Downregulation of CAV1 in HLE cells promotes TGF-β-mediated induction of the pro-apoptotic BMF, which correlates with upregulation of NOX4, whereas CAV1 overexpression in Huh7 cells shows the opposite effect. CAV1 silenced HLE cells show attenuation in TGF-β-induced EGFR transactivation and activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. On the contrary, Huh7 cells, which do not respond to TGF-β activating the EGFR pathway, acquire the capacity to do so when CAV1 is overexpressed. Analyses in samples from HCC patients revealed that tumour tissues presented higher expression levels of CAV1 compared with surrounding non-tumoural areas. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation among the expression of CAV1 and TGFB1 was observed. We conclude that CAV1 has an essential role in switching the response to TGF-β from cytostatic to tumourigenic, which could have clinical meaning in patient stratification.

Thomasz L, Oglio R, Salvarredi L, et al.
Regulation of NADPH oxidase NOX4 by delta iodolactone (IL-δ) in thyroid cancer cells.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018; 470:115-126 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Iodine is not used only by the thyroid to synthesize thyroid hormones but also directly influences a number of thyroid parameters such as thyroid proliferation and function. Several iodinated lipids, biosynthesized by the thyroid, were postulated as intermediaries in the action of iodide. Among these, iodolactone (IL-δ) and 2-iodohexadecanal (2-IHDA) have shown to inhibit several thyroid parameters. The antiproliferative effect of IL-δ is not restricted to the thyroid gland. IL-δ exhibits anti-tumor properties in breast cancer, neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, melanoma and lung carcinoma cells suggesting that IL-δ could be used as a chemotherapeutic agent. Moreover in a colon cancer cell line (HT-29), IL-δ induced cell death, and this effect was mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The aim of the present study was to analyze the sources of reactive oxygen species induced by IL-δ and to explore the contribution of ROS induced by IL-δ on cell proliferation and apoptosis.
METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: Cancer thyroid follicular (WRO) and papilar (TPC-1) cells lines were treated with IL-δ. Proliferation and apoptosis was analyzed. IL-δ caused a significant loss of cell viability on WRO and TPC-1 cells in a concentration dependent manner and induced apoptosis after 3 h of treatment. Furthermore, IL-δ (10 μM) increased ROS production (39% WRO and 20% TPC-1). The concomitant treatment of WRO and TPC-1 cells with Trolox or NAC plus IL-δ abrogated the augment of ROS induced by IL-δ exposure. Additionally Trolox and NAC reversed the effect of IL-δ on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Only in WRO cells IL-δ upregulates NADPH oxidase NOX4 expression, and siRNA targeted knock-down of NOX4 attenuates ROS production, apoptosis (p < 0.05) and the inhibitory effect of IL-δ on cell proliferation and PCNA expression (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of IL-δ is mediated by different mechanisms and pathway involving different sources of ROS generation depending on the cellular context.

Eun HS, Cho SY, Joo JS, et al.
Gene expression of NOX family members and their clinical significance in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):11060 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase complex-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote chronic liver inflammation and remodeling that can drive hepatocellular carcinoma development. The role of NOX expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been partially investigated; however, the clinical relevance of collective or individual NOX family member expression for HCC survival remains unclear. Here, we obtained NOX mRNA expression data for 377 HCC samples and 21 normal liver controls from the TCGA data portal and performed Kaplan-Meier survival, gene ontology functional enrichment, and gene set enrichment analyses. Although most NOX genes exhibited little change, some were significantly induced in HCC compared to that in normal controls. In addition, HCC survival analyses indicated better overall survival in patients with high NOX4 and DUOX1 expression, whereas patients with high NOX1/2/5 expression showed poor prognoses. Gene-neighbour and gene set enrichment analyses revealed that NOX1/2/5 were strongly correlated with genes associated with cancer cell survival and metastasis, whereas increased NOX4 and DUOX1 expression was associated with genes that inhibit tumour progression. On the basis of these data, NOX family gene expression analysis could be a predictor of survival and identify putative therapeutic targets in HCC.

Kim E, Kim W, Lee S, et al.
TRAF4 promotes lung cancer aggressiveness by modulating tumor microenvironment in normal fibroblasts.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):8923 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Normal fibroblasts surrounding tumor cells play a crucial role in cancer progression through formation of the tumor microenvironment. Because factors secreted from normal fibroblasts can modulate the tumor microenvironment, it is necessary to identify key factors associated with regulation of secreted factors and to investigate the molecular mechanisms contributing to the tumor microenvironment formation process. In this study, we found that radiation induced the expression and K63-linkage poly-ubiquitination of TRAF4 in normal lung fibroblasts. The K63-linkage poly-ubiquitinated TRAF4 formed complexes with NOX2 or NOX4 by mediating phosphorylated p47-phox in normal lung fibroblasts. Moreover, we showed that TRAF4 stabilized NOX complexes by decreasing lysosomal degradation of NOX2 and NOX4 after irradiation. NOX complexes increased endosomal ROS levels that were permeable into cytoplasm, leading to NF-κB-mediated ICAM1 up-regulation. Soluble ICAM1 was subsequently secreted into conditioned media of radiation-activated normal lung fibroblasts. The conditioned media from irradiated normal fibroblasts enhanced proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of non-small cell lung cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. These results demonstrate that TRAF4 in irradiated fibroblasts is positively associated with aggressiveness of adjacent cancer cells by altering the tumor microenvironment. Thus, we suggest that regulation of TRAF4 might be a promising strategy for cancer therapy.

Shi Y, Bo Z, Pang G, et al.
MiR-99a-5p regulates proliferation, migration and invasion abilities of human oral carcinoma cells by targeting NOX4.
Neoplasma. 2017; 64(5):666-673 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous research has showed that miR-99a-5p was a tumor suppressor. The aim of our study was to explore the effect of miR-99a-5p on the vitality and proliferation, migration together with the invasion of oral tumor cells via inhibiting the expression of NOX4. QRT-PCR and Western blot were applied to examine the expression level of miR-99a-5p and NOX4 in human oral tumorous and adjacent tissues. Dual luciferase reporter gene assay was applied to confirm that miR-99a-5p negatively regulated directly on NOX4 in TSCC1 cells. Cell transfection and lentiviral vectors were used to up-regulate expression of miR-99a-5p and NOX4, respectively. Cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and invasion along with the migration in different groups were assessed using MTT assay, colony formation assay, the flow cytometry, transwell assay and the wound healing assay, respectively. MiR-99a-5p was under-expressed in human oral tumor, while NOX4 was over-expressed. There was a negative relationship between miR-99a-5p and NOX4. Up-regulating miR-99a-5p or down-regulating NOX4 suppressed the vitality, proliferation, migration together with invasion of TSCC1 cells. MiR-99a-5p affected the vitality and proliferation, migration together with the invasion of oral tumor cells through targeting NOX4.

Meitzler JL, Makhlouf HR, Antony S, et al.
Decoding NADPH oxidase 4 expression in human tumors.
Redox Biol. 2017; 13:182-195 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is a redox active, membrane-associated protein that contributes to genomic instability, redox signaling, and radiation sensitivity in human cancers based on its capacity to generate H

Lin XL, Yang L, Fu SW, et al.
Overexpression of NOX4 predicts poor prognosis and promotes tumor progression in human colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(20):33586-33600 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, has been increasingly reported to be involved in tumorigenesis and/or tumor progression, but limited data are available regarding the role of NOX4 in colorectal carcinoma (CRC). We retrieved six independent investigations from Oncomine database and found that NOX4 is highly expressed in CRC tissues compared with corresponding normal controls. Similar results were also found in clinical specimens at both mRNA and protein levels. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that NOX4 overexpression was highly correlated with T classification, N classification, distant metastasis, and poor prognosis of CRC patients, which was also confirmed by GSE14333 and GSE17536 datasets from the Gene Expression Omnibus. Furthermore, we demonstrated that when NOX4 expression was knocked down by siRNAs, cell proliferation, cell-cycle and apoptosis, migration and invasion were significantly altered in CRC cell lines HCT116 and LOVO. Meanwhile, NOX4 promoted cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis, migration and invasion by regulating the expression of relevant genes. By these approaches we aim to elucidate NOX4 may be a reliable prognostic factor or therapeutic target in CRC.

Yu H, Sun SQ, Gu XB, et al.
Atorvastatin prolongs the lifespan of radiation‑induced reactive oxygen species in PC-3 prostate cancer cells to enhance the cell killing effect.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(4):2049-2056 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have reported that atorvastatin (ATO) may increase the radiosensitivity of malignant cells. However, the influence of ATO on reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels before and after irradiation has not been fully illustrated. In the present study, radiosensitivity was evaluated by a clonogenic assay and a cell survival curve and cell apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry. ROS were detected by a laser scanning confocal microscope and flow cytometry with a DCFH-DA probe. NADPH oxidases (NOXs) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) proteins were detected by immunoblotting, and total SOD activity was measured using an SOD kit. We also conducted transient transfection of NOX2 and NOX4 genes to increase intracellular ROS generation and applied SOD mimetic tempol to enhance ROS elimination ability. Our results demonstrated that, with ATO-alone treatment, the survival fractions of irradiated PC-3 cells were significantly decreased. Meanwhile, the apoptosis rate of the irradiated cells increased significantly (P<0.05). The ROS levels of the study group decreased obviously before irradiation (P<0.01), however, the radiation-induced ROS of the study group was at a high level even when irradiation had been terminated for 2 h (P<0.01). Moreover, NOX2 and NOX4 levels and total SOD activity decreased (P<0.01), while the levels of SOD1 were stably maintained (P>0.05). On the other hand, the decreased survival fractions and high radiation-induced ROS levels were abrogated by increasing the level of NOXs by gene transfection or by enhancing the ability of SOD utilizing the addition of tempol. In conclusion, ATO enhanced the cell killing effect of irradiation by reducing endogenous ROS levels and prolonging the lifespan of radiation‑induced ROS via a decrease in the level of NOXs and SOD activity.

Ju HQ, Ying H, Tian T, et al.
Mutant Kras- and p16-regulated NOX4 activation overcomes metabolic checkpoints in development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:14437 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kras activation and p16 inactivation are required to develop pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, the biochemical mechanisms underlying these double alterations remain unclear. Here we discover that NAD(P)H oxidase 4 (NOX4), an enzyme known to catalyse the oxidation of NAD(P)H, is upregulated when p16 is inactivated by looking at gene expression profiling studies. Activation of NOX4 requires catalytic subunit p22

Morry J, Ngamcherdtrakul W, Gu S, et al.
Targeted Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer by PLK1 siRNA Delivered by an Antioxidant Nanoparticle Platform.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2017; 16(4):763-772 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic breast cancer is developed in about 20% to 30% of newly diagnosed patients with early-stage breast cancer despite treatments. Herein, we report a novel nanoparticle platform with intrinsic antimetastatic properties for the targeted delivery of Polo-like kinase 1 siRNA (siPLK1). We first evaluated it in a triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model, which shows high metastatic potential. PLK1 was identified as the top therapeutic target for TNBC cells and tumor-initiating cells in a kinome-wide screen. The platform consists of a 50-nm mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSNP) core coated layer-by-layer with bioreducible cross-linked PEI and PEG polymers, conjugated with an antibody for selective uptake into cancer cells. siRNA is loaded last and fully protected under the PEG layer from blood enzymatic degradation. The material has net neutral charge and low nonspecific cytotoxicity. We have also shown for the first time that the MSNP itself inhibited cancer migration and invasion in TNBC cells owing to its ROS- and NOX4-modulating properties.

Jafari N, Kim H, Park R, et al.
CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated NOX4 Knockout Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Invasion in HeLa Cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(1):e0170327 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased expression of NOX4 protein is associated with cancer progression and metastasis but the role of NOX4 in cell proliferation and invasion is not fully understood. We generated NOX4 knockout HeLa cell lines using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to explore the cellular functions of NOX4. After transfection of CRISPR-Cas9 construct, we performed T7 endonuclease 1 assays and DNA sequencing to generate and identify insertion and deletion of the NOX4 locus. We confirmed the knockout of NOX4 by Western blotting. NOX4 knockout cell lines showed reduced cell proliferation with an increase of sub-G1 cell population and the decrease of S/G2/M population. Moreover, NOX4 deficiency resulted in a dramatic decrease in invadopodium formation and the invasive activity. In addition, NOX4 deficiency also caused a decrease in focal adhesions and cell migration in HeLa cells. These results suggest that NOX4 is required for both efficient proliferation and invasion of HeLa cells.

Kim H, Sung JY, Park EK, et al.
Regulation of anoikis resistance by NADPH oxidase 4 and epidermal growth factor receptor.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 116(3):370-381 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Normal cells are sensitive to anoikis, which is a cell detachment-induced apoptosis. However, cancer cells acquire anoikis resistance that is essential for successful metastasis. This study aimed to demonstrate the function and potential mechanism of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) and EGFR activation in regulating anoikis resistance in lung cancer.
METHODS: Cells were cultured either in the attached or suspended condition. Cell viability was measured by cell counting and live and dead cell staining. Expression levels of NOX4 and EGFR were measured by PCR and immunoblotting. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured by flow cytometry. Effects of NOX4 overexpression or NOX4 knockdown by si-NOX4 on anoikis sensitivity were explored. Levels of NOX4 and EGFR in lung cancer tissues were evaluated by IHC staining.
RESULTS: NOX4 was upregulated but EGFR decreased in suspended cells compared with attached cells. Accordingly, ROS levels were increased in suspended cells, resulting in the activation of Src and EGFR. NOX4 knockdown decreased activation of Src and EGFR, and thus sensitised cells to anoikis. NOX4 overexpression increased EGFR levels and attenuated anoikis. NOX4 expression is upregulated and is positively correlated with EGFR levels in the lung cancer patient tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: NOX4 upregulation confers anoikis resistance by ROS-mediated activation of EGFR and Src, and by maintaining EGFR levels, which is critical for cell survival.

Zeng C, Wu Q, Wang J, et al.
NOX4 supports glycolysis and promotes glutamine metabolism in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2016; 101:236-248 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our previous studies have confirmed that NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is abundantly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and contributes to cancer progression. Nevertheless, the comprehensive mechanisms for NOX4-mediated malignant progression and oxidative resistance of cancer cells remain largely unknown. This study found that NOX4 directed glucose metabolism not only to the glycolysis but also to pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) pathway for production of NADPH in NSCLC cell lines. Besides, we also found that NOX4 promoted glutaminolysis into total GSH synthesis. Specifically, the data showed that ectopic NOX4 expression did not induce apoptosis of NSCLC cells; however, inhibition of GSH production resulted in obvious apoptotic death of NOX4-overexpressed NSCLC cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that NOX4-induced glycolysis probably via ROS/PI3K/Akt signaling-dependent c-Myc upregulation. The selective NOX4 inhibitor, GKT137831, significantly inhibited glucose and glutamine metabolic phenotypes both in vitro and in vivo, and itself or combination with 2-DG, a synthetic glycolytic inhibitor, suppressed cancer cell growth both in vivo and in vitro. Elimination of NOX4-derived H

Crosas-Molist E, Bertran E, Rodriguez-Hernandez I, et al.
The NADPH oxidase NOX4 represses epithelial to amoeboid transition and efficient tumour dissemination.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(21):3002-3014 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition is a common event during tumour dissemination. However, direct epithelial to amoeboid transition has not been characterized to date. Here we provide evidence that cells from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a highly metastatic cancer, undergo epithelial to amoeboid transition in physiological environments, such as organoids or three-dimensional complex matrices. Furthermore, the NADPH oxidase NOX4 inhibits this transition and therefore suppresses efficient amoeboid bleb-based invasion. Moreover, NOX4 expression is associated with E-cadherin levels and inversely correlated with invasive features. NOX4 is necessary to maintain parenchymal structures, increase cell-cell and cell-to-matrix adhesion, and impair actomyosin contractility and amoeboid invasion. Importantly, NOX4 gene deletions are frequent in HCC patients, correlating with higher tumour grade. Contrary to that observed in mesenchymal cell types, here NOX4 suppresses Rho and Cdc42 GTPase expression and downstream actomyosin contractility. In HCC patients, NOX4 expression inversely correlates with RhoC and Cdc42 levels. Moreover, low expression of NOX4 combined with high expression of either RhoC or Cdc42 is associated with worse prognosis. Therefore, loss of NOX4 increases actomyosin levels and favours an epithelial to amoeboid transition contributing to tumour aggressiveness.

Singh B, Kulawiec M, Owens KM, et al.
Sustained Early Disruption of Mitochondrial Function Contributes to Arsenic-Induced Prostate Tumorigenesis.
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2016; 81(10):1089-1100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Arsenic is a well-known human carcinogen that affects millions of people worldwide, but the underlying mechanisms of carcinogenesis are unclear. Several epidemiological studies have suggested increased prostate cancer incidence and mortality due to exposure to arsenic. Due to lack of an animal model of arsenic-induced carcinogenesis, we used a prostate epithelial cell culture model to identify a role for mitochondria in arsenic-induced prostate cancer. Mitochondrial morphology and membrane potential was impacted within a few hours of arsenic exposure of non-neoplastic prostate epithelial cells. Chronic arsenic treatment induced mutations in mitochondrial genes and altered mitochondrial functions. Human non-neoplastic prostate epithelial cells continuously cultured for seven months in the presence of 5 µM arsenite showed tumorigenic properties in vitro and induced tumors in SCID mice, which indicated transformation of these cells. Protein and mRNA expression of subunits of mtOXPHOS complex I were decreased in arsenic-transformed cells. Alterations in complex I, a main site for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as well as increased expression of ROS-producing NOX4 in arsenic-transformed cells suggested a role of oxidative stress in tumorigenic transformation of prostate epithelial cells. Whole genome cGH array analyses of arsenic-transformed prostate cells identified extensive genomic instability. Our study revealed mitochondrial dysfunction induced oxidative stress and decreased expression of p53 in arsenic-transformed cells as an underlying mechanism of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomic instability. These studies suggest that early changes in mitochondrial functions are sustained during prolong arsenic exposure. Overall, our study provides evidence that arsenic disruption of mitochondrial function is an early and key step in tumorigenic transformation of prostate epithelial cells.

Moloney JN, Stanicka J, Cotter TG
Subcellular localization of the FLT3-ITD oncogene plays a significant role in the production of NOX- and p22
Leuk Res. 2017; 52:34-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Internal tandem duplication of the juxtamembrane domain of FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3-ITD) receptor is the most prevalent FLT3 mutation accounting for 20% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. FLT3-ITD mutation results in ligand-independent constitutive activation of the receptor at the plasma membrane and 'impaired trafficking' of the receptor in compartments of the endomembrane system, such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). FLT3-ITD expressing cells have been shown to generate increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), in particular NADPH oxidase (NOX)-generated ROS which act as pro-survival signals. The purpose of this study is to investigate FLT3-ITD production of ROS at the plasma membrane and ER in the FLT3-ITD expressing AML cell line MV4-11. Receptor trafficking inhibitors; Tunicamycin and Brefeldin A induce ER retention of FLT3-ITD, resulting in a decrease in protein expression of NOX4 and its partner protein p22

Wilson A, Yakovlev VA
Cells redox environment modulates BRCA1 expression and DNA homologous recombination repair.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2016; 101:190-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer development and progression have been linked to oxidative stress, a condition characterized by unbalanced increase in ROS and RNS production. The main endogenous initiators of the redox imbalance in cancer cells are defective mitochondria, elevated NOX activity, and uncoupled NOS3. Traditionally, most attention has been paid to direct oxidative damage to DNA by certain ROS. However, increase in oxidative DNA lesions does not always lead to malignancy. Hence, additional ROS-dependent, pro-carcinogenic mechanisms must be important. Our recent study demonstrated that Tyr nitration of PP2A stimulates its activity and leads to downregulation of BRCA1 expression. This provides a mechanism for chromosomal instability essential for tumor progression. In the present work, we demonstrated that inhibition of ROS production by generating mitochondrial-electron-transport-deficient cell lines (ρ

Ito K, Ota A, Ono T, et al.
Inhibition of Nox1 induces apoptosis by attenuating the AKT signaling pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2991-2998 [PubMed] Related Publications
NADPH oxidases, also known as the Nox family, are major sources of reactive oxygen species generation that regulate redox-sensitive signaling pathways. Recent studies have implicated the Nox family in cancer development and progression. However, the involvement of its members in the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains to be elucidated. To clarify this issue, we first analyzed mRNA expression of Nox/Duox family members (Nox1, Nox2, Nox3, Nox4, Nox5, Duox1 and Duox2) in five OSCC cell lines. Nox1 and Nox4 mRNAs were highly expressed in four OSCC cell lines. Western blot analysis revealed that the protein expression level of Nox1 was higher than that of Nox4 in the OSCC cell lines. In addition, knockdown of Nox1, but not Nox4, significantly suppressed cell viability and induced apoptosis in the HSC-2 and HSC-3 cells. We also found that a specific AKT inhibitor, perifosine, dose-dependently suppressed OSCC cell growth. Notably, Nox1 knockdown significantly attenuated the phosphorylation level of AKT. Furthermore, both Nox1 knockdown and perifosine treatment markedly enhanced the cisplatin-induced cytotoxic effect. Taken together, our results highlight that the Nox1/AKT signaling pathway plays an important role in cell survival in OSCC cells.

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