Direct activation of NADPH oxidase 2 by 2-deoxyribose-1-phosphate triggers nuclear factor kappa B-dependent angiogenesis

D. Vara, J.M. Watt, T.M. Fortunato, H. Mellor, M. Burgess, K. Wicks, K. Mace, S. Reeksting, A. Lubben, C.P.D. Wheeler-Jones, G. Pula

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims: Deoxyribose-1-phosphate (dRP) is a proangiogenic paracrine stimulus released by cancer cells, platelets, and macrophages and acting on endothelial cells. The objective of this study was to clarify how dRP stimulates angiogenic responses in human endothelial cells. Results: Live cell imaging, electron paramagnetic resonance, pull-down of dRP-interacting proteins, followed by immunoblotting, gene silencing of different NADPH oxidases (NOXs), and their regulatory cosubunits by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection, and experiments with inhibitors of the sugar transporter glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) were utilized to demonstrate that dRP acts intracellularly by directly activating the endothelial NOX2 complex, but not NOX4. Increased reactive oxygen species generation in response to NOX2 activity leads to redox-dependent activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), which, in turn, induces vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) upregulation. Using endothelial tube formation assays, gene silencing by siRNA, and antibody-based receptor inhibition, we demonstrate that the activation of NF-κB and VEGFR2 is necessary for the angiogenic responses elicited by dRP. The upregulation of VEGFR2 and NOX2-dependent stimulation of angiogenesis by dRP were confirmed in excisional wound and Matrigel plug vascularization assays in vivo using NOX2-/- mice. Innovation: For the first time, we demonstrate that dRP acts intracellularly and stimulates superoxide anion generation by direct binding and activation of the NOX2 enzymatic complex. Conclusions: This study describes a novel molecular mechanism underlying the proangiogenic activity of dRP, which involves the sequential activation of NOX2 and NF-κB and upregulation of VEGFR2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-130
Number of pages21
JournalAntioxidants & Redox Signaling
Issue number2
Early online date10 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018


  • angiogenesis
  • endothelial
  • NF-κB
  • NOX
  • ROS
  • Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic/drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells/drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Humans
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
  • NADPH Oxidase 2/metabolism
  • NF-kappa B/metabolism
  • Ribosemonophosphates/pharmacology


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