R W Erickson

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (18)119.26 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Gp91-phox is an integral component of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase complex that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in activated circulating phagocytes. The authors previously demonstrated that gp91-phox knockout (KO) mice show significant protection from neuronal injury after cerebral ischemia--reperfusion injury, suggesting a pivotal role for this enzyme. Moreover, results from chimeric mice suggested that elimination of gp91-phox from both circulating phagocytes and a putative central nervous system (CNS) source were required to confer neuroprotection. In the current study, the authors demonstrated gp91-phox-specific immunostaining of perivascular cells in the CNS of control rats. However, after transient cerebral ischemia, gp91-phox-positive phagocytes were observed within the core ischemic region and activated microglial cells were positive in the penumbra. Such activated microglial cells were also gp91-phox-positive in the CNS of a chimpanzee with mild meningitis. Finally, in humans, both normal adult CNS tissues and isolated fetal microglial cells expressed gp91-phox mRNA. These microglia also expressed mRNA for the five other known components that comprise the NADPH oxidase complex. These data strongly suggest that microglial cells may contain a functionally active NADPH oxidase capable of generating ROS during CNS inflammation.
    Preview · Article · May 2001 · Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: The superoxide-generating neutrophil NADPH oxidase can be activated in cell-free reconstitution systems by several agonists, most notably arachidonic acid and the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate. In this study, we show that both phosphatidic acids and diacylglycerols can serve separately as potent, physiologic activators of NADPH oxidase in a cell-free system. Stimulation of superoxide generation by these lipids was dependent upon both Mg2+ and agonist concentration. Activation of NADPH oxidase by phosphatidic acids did not appear to require their conversion to corresponding diacylglycerols by phosphatidate phosphohydrolase, since diacylglycerols were much slower than phosphatidic acids to activate the system and required the presence of ATP. Stimulation of the oxidase by dioctanoylglycerol proved to be by a means other than the activation of protein kinase C. Instead, dioctanoylglycerol was converted to dioctanoylphosphatidic acid by an endogenous diacylglycerol kinase present in the cell-free reaction system. This conversion was sensitive to the diacylglycerol kinase inhibitor R59949 and explains the markedly slower kinetics of activation and the novel ATP requirement seen with dioctanoylglycerol. The level of dioctanoylphosphatidic acid formed was suboptimal for NADPH oxidase activation but could synergize with the unmetabolized dioctanoylglycerol to activate superoxide generation.
    Preview · Article · Sep 1999 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Andrew R. CROSS · Richard W. ERICKSON · John T. CURNUTTE
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    ABSTRACT: It is commonly assumed that activation of the superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase requires the formation of a stable complex between flavocytochrome b-245 (the gp91phox/p22phox heterodimer) and the cytosolic cofactors p47phox, p67phox and Rac2. This association is thought to convert flavocytochrome b-245, which contains the NADPH-binding site, flavin and haem centres, from an inactive into an active state. Here we provide evidence that, in the cell-free system, this activation process does not necessarily require the formation of a stable stoichiometric complex between the phox proteins. To explain this data we propose the hypothesis that p67phox (and possibly Rac2), are capable of activating flavocytochrome b-245 in a catalytic fashion, where a single molecule of p67phox (or Rac2) is capable of activating multiple flavocytochrome b-245 molecules.
    Preview · Article · Aug 1999 · Biochemical Journal
  • AR Cross · R W Erickson · J T Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined the kinetics of NADPH oxidase activation induced by arachidonic acid or SDS in a cell-free system using mixtures of recombinant Phox proteins and purified flavocytochrome b-245. Activation of oxidase activity required the simultaneous presence of p47(phox), flavocytochrome b-245, and the anionic amphiphile. The activation of electron transfer reactions was much more rapid when iodonitrotetrazolium violet was used as electron acceptor than when oxygen alone was the acceptor. We propose that this difference represents an intermediate activation state of NADPH oxidase in which electron flow can proceed from NADPH to enzyme flavin (and hence to iodonitrotetrazolium violet) but not from flavin to heme (or not between the hemes). A model for NADPH oxidase activation is presented that is consistent with these observations.
    No preview · Article · Jun 1999 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Andrew R. Cross · Richard W. Erickson · John T. Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined the kinetics of NADPH oxidase activation induced by arachidonic acid or SDS in a cell-free system using mixtures of recombinant Phox proteins and purified flavocytochrome b −245. Activation of oxidase activity required the simultaneous presence of p47phox, flavocytochrome b −245, and the anionic amphiphile. The activation of electron transfer reactions was much more rapid when iodonitrotetrazolium violet was used as electron acceptor than when oxygen alone was the acceptor. We propose that this difference represents an intermediate activation state of NADPH oxidase in which electron flow can proceed from NADPH to enzyme flavin (and hence to iodonitrotetrazolium violet) but not from flavin to heme (or not between the hemes). A model for NADPH oxidase activation is presented that is consistent with these observations.
    No preview · Article · May 1999 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Andrew R. Cross · Richard W. Erickson · Beverly A. Ellis · John T. Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: The role of magnesium ions in the activation of NADPH oxidase has been investigated using flavocytochrome b-245 and either neutrophil cytosol or mixtures of recombinant p40phox, p47phox, p67phox and Rac2. Purified flavocytochrome b-245 is highly active (turnover number 120-150 mol of O2(-)/s per mol of cytochrome haem) in the absence of Mg2+, in marked contrast to neutrophil membranes or detergent-solubilized membranes, which have an absolute requirement for Mg2+ for NADPH oxidase activity. It was also found that Mg2+ affected the anionic amphiphile requirement for oxidase activation, and this was dependent on whether neutrophil cytosol or mixtures of recombinant cytosolic proteins were used in the assay. Unexpectedly we found that, using purified flavocytochrome b-245 and recombinant cytosolic proteins, NADPH oxidase undergoes spontaneous activation in the absence of anionic amphiphiles under Mg2+-free conditions. The results suggest that Mg2+ ions play an important role in NADPH oxidase function, perhaps stabilizing the 260 kDa complex of cytosolic phox proteins or the regulation of a guanine nucleotide-binding protein. We provide evidence that if the latter explanation is correct, the identity of the guanine nucleotide-binding protein is unlikely to be Rap1a.
    Preview · Article · Mar 1999 · Biochemical Journal
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    P G Heyworth · J Ding · R W Erickson · D J Lu · J T Curnutte · JA Badwey
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    ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are known to contain a major 67-kD protein that undergoes enhanced phosphorylation and translocation to the membrane during cell stimulation. Recent studies have assumed that this 67-kD phosphoprotein is the 67-kD subunit of the phagocyte oxidase (p67-phox). We compare here the protein phosphorylation patterns in lysates of normal neutrophils and neutrophils from patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) that are completely deficient in p67-phox. The phosphoproteins were labeled by incubation of the cells with radioactive inorganic phosphate (32Pi) or by the addition of [gamma-32P]ATP to electropermeabilized neutrophils. With either method, stimulation of the normal or CGD cells always resulted in an enhanced incorporation of 32p into two proteins in the 67-kD area. The extent of phosphorylation of these two proteins was very similar in the normal and CGD cells when permeabilized neutrophils loaded with [gamma -32P]ATP were compared. Moreover, no overall differences in the protein phosphorylation patterns were observed between the normal and CGD cells. Our data indicate that the major 67-kD phosphoproteins observed in stimulated neutrophils are clearly different from p67-phox.
    Preview · Article · Jun 1996 · Blood
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    P G Heyworth · R W Erickson · J Ding · J T Curnutte · J A Badwey
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    ABSTRACT: Selective antagonists of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) [e.g. ML-7; 1-(5-iodonaphthalene-1-sulphonyl)-1H-hexahydro-1,4-diazepine hydrochloride] were found to inhibit superoxide (O2-) release from stimulated neutrophils. The concentrations of ML-7 that were inhibitory were substantially lower than those reported for a selective antagonist of protein kinase C [i.e. H-7; 1-(5-isoquinolinesulphonyl)-2-methylpiperazine dihydrochloride]. ML-7 also reduced the phosphorylation of the 47 kDa subunit of the NADPH-oxidase system (p47-phox) and blocked translocation of this protein to the Triton X-100-insoluble fraction in stimulated cells. Interestingly, ML-7 also inhibited O2- production in a cell-free system derived from neutrophils at concentrations similar to those that were effective in vivo. This cell-free system does not require ATP and is insensitive to all other inhibitors of protein kinases tested, including some highly effective against MLCK (i.e. staurosporine). Thus, the data suggest that ML-7 does not block O2- release by inhibiting a protein kinase but instead may interact directly with a subunit of the oxidase. The binding site for ML-7 may provide a valuable target for inhibiting the inflammatory properties of phagocytic leucocytes by naphthalenesulphonamides designed to lack activity against protein kinases.
    Preview · Article · Nov 1995 · Biochemical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is characterized by recurrent infections, and is usually associated with a complete inability of phagocytic cells to generate superoxide anion (O2-). Rarely, variant forms of CGD have been reported in which there is reduced, but detectable, O2- production by phagocytic cells. We describe three adult males in two kindreds with a unique form of X-linked cytochrome b558-deficient (X91-) CGD not previously reported. All three patients had two distinct populations of phagocytic cells, with one subset capable of normal respiratory burst activity and the other larger subset inactive, as in classic CGD (X91 (0)). The respiratory burst activity in neutrophils purified from each patient was approximately 10% of normal as determined by O2- production, O2 consumption, cytochrome b558 spectroscopy, and membrane oxidase activity using a cell-free activation system. In contrast with other patients with X91(-)-variant CGD, the unique feature of these patients is the presence of a small but significant population (5% to 15%) of circulating neutrophils and monocytes with completely normal respiratory burst activity as assessed by nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction and flow-cytometric measurement of dihydrorhodamine oxidation. NBT reduction of peripheral blood granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells also showed the presence of a subset of colonies derived from myeloid progenitor cells that had normal respiratory burst capabilities. A mosaic XX chromosome karyotype and an unstable oxidase complex that might occur during myeloid maturation were both excluded as possible explanations. In these families, the molecular defect in the gp91-phox gene, which is currently under investigation, appears to prevent expression of the gene in the majority of neutrophils, but not in a small subset. Our studies suggest that commitment to either a respiratory burst-competent or -incompetent phagocytic cell occurs at the level of the myeloid progenitor cell.
    Preview · Article · Feb 1995 · Blood
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    J T Curnutte · R W Erickson · JB DING · J A Badwey
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    ABSTRACT: The 47-kDa subunit of the NADPH oxidase system (p47-phox) of neutrophils undergoes an association with proteins in the Triton X-100-insoluble fraction upon stimulation of the cells with 4 beta-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. This fraction contains the assembled oxidase that catalyzes the generation of superoxide by stimulated cells. In this paper, we report that the addition of an inhibitor of protein kinases (1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl-2-methylpiperazine) to neutrophils that are already stimulated results in the dissociation of p47-phox from this fraction. Antagonists of type 1 and 2A protein phosphatases (calyculin A, okadaic acid) prevented this phenomenon. In contrast, norokadanone, an inactive analog of okadaic acid, did not affect this response. These observations are correlated with previous studies on the phosphorylation of p47-phox and superoxide release. In addition, we show that protein kinase C (PKC) also undergoes an extensive redistribution to the Triton X-100-insoluble fraction in 4 beta-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated cells, the extent of which is diminished significantly in neutrophils from chronic granulomatous disease patients who lack either p47-phox or cytochrome b558. These studies strongly indicate that PKC and type 1 and/or 2A protein phosphatases are involved in a continuous phosphorylation reaction that maintains the oxidase in the assembled/active state. Moreover, components of the oxidase may target and facilitate the translocation of PKC to a cellular site in close apposition to the oxidase.
    Preview · Article · May 1994 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: When human neutrophils become desensitized to formyl peptide chemoattractants, the receptors (FPR) for these peptides are converted to a high affinity, GTP-insensitive form that is associated with the Triton X-100-insoluble membrane skeleton from surface membrane domains. These domains are actin and fodrin-rich, but G protein-depleted suggesting that FPR shuttling between G protein-enriched and depleted domains may control signal transduction. To determine the molecular basis for FPR interaction with the membrane skeleton, neutrophil subcellular fractions were screened for molecules that could bind photoaffinity-radioiodinated FPR solubilized in Triton X-100. These receptors showed a propensity to bind to a 41- to 43-kDa protein band on nitrocellulose overlays of SDS-PAGE-separated cytosol and plasma membrane fractions of neutrophils. This binding, as well as FPR binding to purified neutrophil actin, was inhibited 50% by 0.6 microM free neutrophil cytosolic actin. Addition of greater than 1 microM G-actin to crude or lectin-purified Triton X-100 extracts of FPR from neutrophil membranes increased the sedimentation rate of a significant fraction of FPR two to three fold as measured by velocity sedimentation in Triton X-100-containing linear sucrose density gradients. Addition of anti-actin antibodies to FPR extracts caused a concentration-dependent immunoprecipitation of at least 65% of the FPR. More than 40% of the immunoprecipitated FPR was specifically retained on protein A affinity matrices. Membrane actin was stabilized to alkaline washing when membranes were photoaffinity labeled. Conversely, when purified neutrophil cytosolic actin was added to membranes or their digitonin extracts, after prior depletion of actin by an alkaline membrane wash, photoaffinity labeling of FPR was increased two- to fourfold with an EC50 of approximately 0.1 microM actin. We conclude that FPR from human neutrophils may interact with actin in membranes to form Triton X-100-stable physical complexes. These complexes can accept additional G-actin monomers to form higher order molecular complexes. Formation of FPR-actin complexes in the neutrophil may play a role in the regulation of chemoattractant-induced activation or actin polymerization.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1993 · The Journal of Immunology
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    J Ding · J A Badwey · R W Erickson · K J Balazovich · J T Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: A procedure for uncovering novel protein kinases was used to search for enzymes in neutrophils that may catalyze the phosphorylation of the 47-Kd subunit of the NADPH oxidase system (p47-phox). This component of the oxidase can undergo phosphorylation on multiple sites. The method is based on the ability of renatured kinases to recognize exogenous substrates fixed in gels. We report that neutrophils contain several uncharacterized protein kinases that catalyze the phosphorylation of a peptide substrate that corresponds to amino acid residues 297 through 331 of p47-phox. Some of these enzymes are strongly activated on stimulation of the cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). The results indicate that the phosphorylation of p47-phox in neutrophils may be more complicated than previously appreciated and may involve multiple protein kinases. In addition, we have examined both the renaturable protein kinases and the properties of protein kinase C (PKC) in neutrophils from patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) who are deficient in cytochrome b558. Previous studies have shown that these cells exhibit incomplete phosphorylation of p47-phox on stimulation. In this study, we were unable to detect any alterations in the renaturable protein kinases or PKC in CGD neutrophils that could explain these defects in the phosphorylation of p47-phox.
    Preview · Article · Sep 1993 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Mild heating of human neutrophils inactivates the respiratory burst oxidase, producing a defect in superoxide production and bacterial killing comparable to that seen in patients afflicted with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). We have now investigated the mechanism and specificity of this inactivation by examining the effect of mild heating on the known oxidase components: the membrane-bound subunits of the cytochrome b558 (gp91-phox and p22-phox) and the two cytosolic oxidase factors (p47-phox and p67-phox). Heating (46 degrees C for 7.5 min) caused intact neutrophils to lose greater than 85% of their capacity to produce superoxide, a defect which was localized to the cytosolic, but not the membrane, fraction. Complementation studies with CGD cytosols deficient in either p47-phox or p67-phox suggested that the defective component of heat-inactivated cytosol was p67-phox. This was confirmed by experiments showing that recombinant p67-phox, but not p47-phox, exhibited lability at 46 degrees C and completely reconstituted oxidase activity of heat-treated cytosol. These studies indicate that mild heating of either intact neutrophils or normal neutrophil cytosol results in a selective inactivation of p67-phox, providing a model oxidase system for the extremely rare p67-phox-deficient form of CGD.
    Preview · Article · Jun 1992 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Neutrophil plasma membranes from patients with the X-linked and autosomal recessive forms of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) that lack cytochrome b are incapable of generating superoxide anion (O2-) in vivo and in vitro. The O2- generating activity of these defective membranes was reconstituted with the addition of partially purified human neutrophil cytochrome b in a detergent-based, cell-free activation system. Depending on the detergent system used, 50% to 100% of the activity of control membranes was recovered, and this activity was directly dependent on the cytochrome b concentration. However, when cytochrome b was purified to 99% homogeneity, the reconstitutive capacity of the cytochrome was lost, possibly because of subtle denaturation of the cytochrome or the removal of an additional required cofactor. Examination of the latter possibility with respect to a protein known to coassociate with the cytochrome, ie, Rap1A, indicated that this ras-like protein was present in the partially purified cytochrome preparation used to reconstitute activity in CGD membranes, but was missing in the highly purified preparation. However, the finding that Rap1A was present in normal amounts in the neutrophil membranes from all four major types of CGD (including those missing cytochrome b) suggested that the conditions required of the reconstitution assay did not favor the reassociation of the membrane-derived Rap1A with exogenously added cytochrome b or that another unidentified membrane component was lost during the final purification step. The normal expression of Rap1A in CGD cell membranes also indicates that this protein is not responsible for the absence of O2- production in the X-linked and autosomal recessive cytochrome b-negative forms of CGD. Finally, these results show that the expression of Rap1A in the plasma membrane is not dependent on the coordinate expression of cytochrome b, despite the close association shown for these two proteins in the normal cell membrane.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 1992 · Blood
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    R C Woodman · R W Erickson · J Rae · H S Jaffe · J T Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) therapy has become an effective form of prophylaxis for patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Preliminary studies with CGD suggested that rIFN-gamma treatment enhanced phagocyte oxidase activity and increased superoxide (O2-) production. We evaluated several aspects of neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity in 19 CGD patients (representing all four known types of CGD) receiving prolonged rIFN-gamma therapy (6 to 27 months). In contrast to earlier studies, we failed to detect any improvement in neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity in 18 of the 19 CGD patients as determined by (1) intact cell O2- production (continuous assay), (2) nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) staining, (3) cytochrome b558 spectroscopy, and (4) activity levels of cytosol and membrane oxidase components using a cell-free activation system. One patient with a variant form of X-linked CGD had a transient increase in neutrophil O2- production following 3 months of rIFN-gamma therapy. However, this was not sustained, and was not associated with any change in cytochrome b levels. In some patients, rIFN-gamma therapy was associated with the appearance of a small subset of circulating monocytes (1% to 20%) that were NBT-positive. Although the functional significance of this monocyte subpopulation needs to be determined, these results suggest that one possible mechanism by which rIFN-gamma may benefit CGD patients is by partially correcting the respiratory burst defect in a subset of monocytes. We conclude that the clinical benefit of prolonged rIFN-gamma therapy in the vast majority of CGD patients is not due to enhanced neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity. The mechanism of action of rIFN-gamma in most CGD patients remains unknown.
    Preview · Article · Apr 1992 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a congenital disorder in which phagocytes cannot generate superoxide (O2-) and other microbial oxidants due to mutations in any one of four components of the O2(-)-generating complex, NADPH oxidase. We report here a female CGD patient in whom a missense mutation in one of these components, the p22-phox subunit of the neutrophil membrane cytochrome b [where phox indicates phagocyte oxidase (used to designate protein components of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase)] results in a nonfunctional oxidase and failure of neutrophils to produce O2- in response to phorbol 12-myristrate 13-acetate. Cytochrome b in the patient's neutrophils was normal in appearance and abundance as determined by visible spectroscopy and by immunoblots of the gp91 and p22 subunits. However, the neutrophil plasma membranes were devoid of activity in the cell-free oxidase activation system, whereas the cytosol functioned normally. We postulated that the patient was homozygous for a mutation in p22 that results in the synthesis of normal levels of a nonfunctional cytochrome b. A single-base substitution (C----A) was found in the patient's mononuclear cell p22-phox cDNA that predicts a nonconservative Pro----Gln substitution at residue 156. The same mutation was also identified in all clones sequenced from patient genomic DNA, demonstrating homozygosity for the mutant allele. An antipeptide antibody against p22 residues 153-164 was found to bind only to permeabilized neutrophils, indicating that the mutation occurs in a cytoplasmic domain. These studies establish that this domain of p22-phox is cytoplasmic and that mutations in this region can have profound effects on cytochrome b function.
    Preview · Article · Jan 1992 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • John A. Badwey · Richard W. Erickson · John T. Curnutte
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    ABSTRACT: Superoxide production by neutrophils triggered with a chemotactic peptide or a phorbol ester is inhibited by the protein kinase antagonists staurosporine or 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine (H-7). We evaluated the effects of these antagonists on the protein tyrosine kinases and protein kinase C activities of neutrophils. Staurosporine completely inhibited all of these enzymes, whereas 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine was only substantially effective against protein kinase C. Thus, if a protein tyrosine kinase is involved in superoxide production, it is likely to function with a second kinase sensitive to 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine.
    No preview · Article · Aug 1991 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    RC Woodman · RW Erickson · J Rae · HS Jaffe · JT Curnutte

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Publication Stats

690 Citations
119.26 Total Impact Points


  • 1999
    • University of California, San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1991-1999
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      • Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine
      La Jolla, CA, United States
  • 1995-1996
    • Boston Biomedical Research Institute
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • The University of Calgary
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 1993
    • Montana State University
      • Department of Microbiology
      Bozeman, MT, United States