Ischemia induces nuclear NOX2 expression in cardiomyocytes and subsequently activates apoptosis

C Meischl, P A J Krijnen, J A Sipkens, S A G M Cillessen, I Gámez Muñoz, M Okroj, M Ramska, A Muller, C A Visser, R J P Musters, W S Simonides, C E Hack, D Roos, H W M Niessen

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In previous work we have demonstrated increased expression of NOX2 in cardiomyocytes of infarcted human hearts. In the present manuscript we investigated the functional role of NOX2 in ischemically challenged H9c2 cells, a rat cardiomyoblast cell line, and adult rat cardiomyocytes. Expression of NOX2 in H9c2 cells was confirmed by RT-PCR. In Western-blot experiments, increased NOX2 expression was detected during ischemia, which was inhibited by transcription and translation inhibitors. Surprisingly, under ischemia, in addition to an increased cytosolic expression, NOX2 was localized mainly in the nucleus of apoptotic cardiomyocytes, where it colocalized with nitrotyrosine residues and activated caspase 3. Inhibition of reactive-oxygen-species generation with the flavoenzyme inhibitor diphenylene iodonium (DPI) and the NADPH-oxidase inhibitor apocynin led to a significantly decreased induction of apoptosis as assessed by quantification of caspase-3 activity and by TUNEL analysis. These results demonstrate that NOX2 is expressed in the nucleus of cardiomyocytes during apoptosis and that it likely participates in proapoptotic signaling. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of nuclear NOX2 expression and its involvement in cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-21
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Ischemia
  • Journal Article
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Myocytes, Cardiac
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Signal Transduction

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