Characteristics of NADPH oxidase genes (Nox2, p22, p47, and p67) and Nox4 gene expressed in blood cells of juvenile Ciona intestinalis

Yuuki Inoue, Michio Ogasawara, Takuma Moroi, Masanobu Satake, Kaoru Azumi, Tadaaki Moritomo, Teruyuki Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


To illuminate the origins of NADPH oxidase (Nox), we identified cDNA clones encoding Nox2, Nox4, p22 phagocyte oxidase (phox), p47phox, and p67phox in a chordate phylogenetically distant to the vertebrates, the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis. We also examined the spatiotemporal expression of these genes in embryos and juveniles. The sequences of the Nox2, Nox4, p22phox, p47phox, and p67phox cDNAs contained open reading frames encoding 581, 811, 175, 461, and 515 amino acids, respectively. The level of identities between the deduced Nox2, Nox4, p22phox, p47phox, and p67phox amino acid sequences and their corresponding human components were 54.0, 31.0, 44.4, 36.0, and 26.2%, respectively. Despite these low identities, the functional domains of the C. intestinalis and human NADPH oxidase and Nox4 are highly conserved. The genomic organizations of the components of the NADPH oxidase gene except for p67phox (a single exon gene) and the Nox4 gene in C. intestinalis are highly similar to those of the corresponding human NADPH oxidase genes. Further, the analyzed part of the C. intestinalis genome and EST database do not seem to present p40phox and Nox5. The Nox2, p22phox, p47phox, and p67phox genes were specifically expressed in the blood cells of juveniles. The Nox4 gene was expressed in blood cells and endostyle of juveniles. These results suggest that C. intestinalis NADPH oxidase components possess potential functional activities similar to those of human, but the manner in which cytosolic phox proteins in C. intestinalis interact is different from that in human.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-534
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood cells
  • C. intestinalis
  • Cloning
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Nox family
  • Sequence
  • WISH
  • cDNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Genetics


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