The pH dependence of NADPH oxidase in human eosinophils

Deri Morgan, Vladimir V. Cherny, Ricardo Murphy, Ben Z. Katz, Thomas E. DeCoursey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


NADPH oxidase generates reactive oxygen species that are essential to innate immunity against microbes. Like most enzymes, it is sensitive to pH, although the relative importance of pHo and pHi has not been clearly distinguished. We have taken advantage of the electrogenic nature of NADPH oxidase to determine its pH dependence in patch-clamped individual human eosinophils using the electron current to indicate enzyme activity. Electron current stimulated by PMA (phorbol myristate acetate) was recorded in both perforated-patch configuration, using an NH4+ gradient to control pHi, and in excised, inside-out patches of membrane. No electron current was detected in cells or excised patches from eosinophils from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease. When the pH was varied symmetrically (pHo = pHi) in cells in perforated-patch configuration, NADPH oxidase-generated electron current was maximal at pH 7.5, decreasing drastically at higher or lower values. Varying pHo and pHi independently revealed that this pH dependence was entirely due to effects of pHi and that the oxidase is insensitive to pHo. Surprisingly, the electron current in inside-out patches of membrane was only weakly sensitive to pHi, indicating that the enzyme turnover rate per se is not strongly pH dependent. The most likely interpretation is that assembly or deactivation of the NADPH oxidase complex has one or more pH-sensitive steps, and that pH-dependent changes in electron current in intact cells mainly reflect different numbers of active complexes at different pH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-431
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'The pH dependence of NADPH oxidase in human eosinophils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this