Collaborative project investigates the regulation of oxidase activation and superoxide production, for the treatment of neurodegenerative and respiratory illness.
The enzyme complex ‘NADPH oxidase’ is an integral part of the body’s plasma membrane, and helps white blood cells fight microorganisms. However, too much reactive oxygen results in oxidative stress and tissue damage – causing strokes, heart failure and neurodegenerative diseases.
Surrey academics Dr Brendan Howlin (Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences) and Professor Jian Mei Li (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) have discovered in their research paper ‘Molecular Insights of p47phox Phosphorylation Dynamics in the Regulation of NADPH Oxidase Activation and Superoxide Production’ that a single amino acid phosphorylation can control this enzyme activity.
Their findings, published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, strengthen the argument for the development of novel inhibitors for the treatment of oxidative stress-related diseases in the future.
Dr Howlin said, “The combination of molecular modelling and experimental biology is a powerful tool for modern chemical and biological research – as well as medicine. The molecular insight of the activation mechanism of NADPH oxidase means that Surrey is one step ahead of other scientists in this very competitive research field.”
Full paper details
‘Molecular Insights of p47phox Phosphorylation Dynamics in the Regulation of NADPH Oxidase Activation and Superoxide Production’, Brendan Howlin and Jian Mei Li, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2014, DoI: 10.1074/jbc.M114.561159