Reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from NADPH oxidase (NOX) and mitochondria play a critical role in growth factor-induced switch from a quiescent to an angiogenic phenotype in endothelial cells (ECs). However, how highly diffusible ROS produced from different sources can coordinate to stimulate VEGF signaling and drive the angiogenic process remains unknown. Using the cytosol- and mitochondria-targeted redox-sensitive RoGFP biosensors with real-time imaging, here we show that VEGF stimulation in human ECs rapidly increases cytosolic RoGFP oxidation within 1 min, followed by mitochondrial RoGFP oxidation within 5 min, which continues at least for 60 min. Silencing of Nox4 or Nox2, or overexpression of mitochondria-targeted catalase significantly inhibits VEGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGF receptor type2 (VEGFR2-pY), EC migration and proliferation at the similar extent. Exogenous H2O2 or overexpression of Nox4 that produces H2O2, increases mitochondrial ROS (mtROS), which is prevented by Nox2 siRNA, suggesting that Nox2 senses Nox4-derived H2O2 to promote mtROS production. Mechanistically, H2O2 increases S36 phosphorylation of p66Shc, a key mtROS regulator, which is inhibited by siNox2, but not by siNox4. Moreover, Nox2 or Nox4 knockdown, or overexpression of S36 phosphorylation-defective mutant p66Shc(S36A) inhibits VEGF-induced mtROS, VEGFR2-pY, EC migration and proliferation. In summary, Nox4-derived H2O2 in part activates Nox2 to increase mtROS via pSer36-p66Shc, thereby enhancing VEGFR2 signaling and angiogenesis in ECs. This may represent a novel feed-forward mechanism of ROS-induced ROS release orchestrated by the Nox4/Nox2/pSer36-p66Shc/mtROS axis, which drives sustained activation of angiogenesis signaling program.
- reactive oxygen species
- NADPH oxidase
- vascular endothelial growth factor
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology