Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2002 Apr;282(4):L782-95
Department of Internal Medicine, Cannon Research Center, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC 28232, USA.
Evidence is rapidly accumulating that low-activity-reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases homologous to that in phagocytic cells generate reactive oxygen species as signaling intermediates in both endothelium and vascular smooth muscle. We therefore explored the possibility of such an oxidase regulating growth of airway smooth muscle (AWSM). Proliferation of human AWSM cells in culture was inhibited by the antioxidants catalase and N-acetylcysteine, and by the flavoprotein inhibitor diphenylene iodonium (DPI). Membranes prepared from human AWSM cells generated superoxide anion (O) measured by superoxide dismutase-inhibitable lucigenin chemiluminescence, with a distinct preference for NADPH instead of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide as substrate. Chemiluminescence was also inhibited by DPI, suggesting the presence of a flavoprotein containing oxidase generating O as a signaling molecule for cell growth. Examination of human AWSM cells by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction consistently demonstrated transcripts with sequences identical to those reported for p22(phox). Transfection with p22(phox) antisense oligonucleotides reduced human AWSM proliferation. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity with DPI prevented serum-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), and overexpression of a superrepressor form of the NF-kappaB inhibitor IkappaBalpha significantly reduced human AWSM growth. These findings suggest that an NADPH oxidase containing p22(phox) regulates growth-factor responsive human AWSM proliferation, and that the oxidase signals in part through activation of the prototypical redox-regulated transcription factor NF-kappaB.