The phagocyte NADPH oxidase consists of multiple protein subunits that interact with each other to form a functional superoxide-generating complex. Although the essential components for superoxide production have been well characterized, other proteins potentially involved in the regulation of NADPH oxidase activation remain to be identified. We report here that the Galphai subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins is a novel binding partner for p67phox in transfected HEK293T cells and peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes. p67phox preferably interacted with inactive Galphai. Expression of p67phox caused a dose-dependent decrease in intracellular cyclic AMP concentration, suggesting altered function of Galphai. We identified a fragment of p67phox, consisting of the PB1 domain and the C-terminal SH3 domain, to be critical for the interaction with Galphai. Because these domains are involved in the interaction with p47phox and p40phox, the relationship between the respective binding events was investigated. Wild-type Galphai, but not its QL mutant, could promote the interaction between p67phox and p47phox. However, the interaction between p67phox and p40phox was not affected by either Galphai form. These results provide the first evidence for an interaction between p67phox and an alpha subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins, suggesting a potential role for Galphai in the regulation or activation of NADPH oxidase.
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