Heterodimerization controls localization of Duox-DuoxA NADPH oxidases in airway cells.

Luxen S, Noack D, Frausto M, Davanture S, Torbett BE, Knaus UG
Source: J Cell Sci
Publication Date: (2009)
Issue: 122(Pt 8): 1238-47
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Epithelial, bronchial (NHBE), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung
Epithelial, Small Airway, human (SAEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung


Duox NADPH oxidases generate hydrogen peroxide at the air-liquid interface of the respiratory tract and at apical membranes of thyroid follicular cells. Inactivating mutations of Duox2 have been linked to congenital hypothyroidism, and epigenetic silencing of Duox is frequently observed in lung cancer. To study Duox regulation by maturation factors in detail, its association with these factors, differential use of subunits and localization was analyzed in a lung cancer cell line and undifferentiated or polarized lung epithelial cells. We show here that Duox proteins form functional heterodimers with their respective DuoxA subunits, in close analogy to the phagocyte NADPH oxidase. Characterization of novel DuoxA1 isoforms and mispaired Duox-DuoxA complexes revealed that heterodimerization is a prerequisite for reactive oxygen species production. Functional Duox1 and Duox2 localize to the leading edge of migrating cells, augmenting motility and wound healing. DuoxA subunits are responsible for targeting functional oxidases to distinct cellular compartments in lung epithelial cells, including Duox2 expression in ciliated cells in an ex vivo differentiated lung epithelium. As these locations probably define signaling specificity of Duox1 versus Duox2, these findings will facilitate monitoring Duox isoform expression in lung disease, a first step for early screening procedures and rational drug development.