Electron and proton transport by NADPH oxidases

Nicolas Demaurex, Gábor L. Petheö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


The NADPH oxidase is the main weapon of phagocytic white blood cells that are the first line of defence of our body against invading pathogens, and patients lacking a functional oxidase suffer from severe and recurrent infections. The oxidase is a multisubunit enzyme complex that transports electrons from cytoplasmic NADPH to molecular oxygen in order to generate superoxide free radicals. Electron transport across the plasma membrane is electrogenic and is associated with the flux of protons through voltage-activated proton channels. Both proton and electron currents can be recorded with the patch-clamp technique, but whether the oxidase is a proton channel or a proton channel modulator remains controversial. Recently, we have used the inside-out configuration of the patch-clamp technique to record proton and electron currents in excised patches. This approach allows us to measure the oxidase activity under very controlled conditions, and has provided new information about the enzymatic activity of the oxidase and its coupling to proton channels. In this chapter I will discuss how the unique characteristics of the electron and proton currents associated with the redox activity of the NADPH oxidase have extended our knowledge about the thermodynamics and the physiological regulation of this remarkable enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2315-2325
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1464
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2005


  • Eosinophils
  • Ion channels
  • NADPH oxidases
  • Patch-clamp
  • Proton channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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