Although NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) is the most abundant Nox isoform in systemic vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, its function in the vascular tissue is not entirely known. The literature describes a pathophysiological role for Nox4 in cardiovascular disease; however, some studies have reported that it has a protective role. To date, specific Nox4 inhibitors are not available; hence, the development of a pharmacologic tool to assess Nox4's pathophysiological role garners intense interest. In this study, we selected peptides corresponding to regions in the Nox4 oxidase complex critical to holoenzyme activity and postulated their utility as specific competitive inhibitors. Previous studies in our laboratory yielded selective inhibition of Nox2 using this strategy. We postulated that peptides mimicking the Nox4 B-loop and C-terminus and regions on p22 p h o x inhibit Nox4 activity. To test our hypothesis, the inhibitory activity of Nox4 B-loop and C-terminal peptides as well as N-terminal p22 p h o x peptides was assessed in a reconstituted Nox4 system. Our findings demonstrate that Nox4 inhibition is not achieved by preincubation with this comprehensive array of peptides derived from previously identified active regions. These findings suggest that Nox4 exists in a tightly assembled and active conformation which, unlike other Noxes, cannot be disrupted by conventional means.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine