Free Radical Biology and Medicine
The goal was to determine whether endogenous cytosolic NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) preferentially uses NADPH or NADH in intact pulmonary arterial endothelial cells in culture. The approach was to manipulate the redox status of the NADH/NAD+ and NADPH/NADP+ redox pairs in the cytosolic compartment using treatment conditions targeting glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway alone or with lactate, and to evaluate the impact on the intact cell NQO1 activity. Cells were treated with 2-deoxyglucose, iodoacetate, or epiandrosterone in the absence or presence of lactate, NQO1 activity was measured in intact cells using duroquinone as the electron acceptor, and pyridine nucleotide redox status was measured in total cell KOH extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography. 2-Deoxyglucose decreased NADH/NAD+ and NADPH/NADP+ ratios by 59 and 50%, respectively, and intact cell NQO1 activity by 74%; lactate restored NADH/NAD+, but not NADPH/NADP+ or NQO1 activity. Iodoacetate decreased NADH/NAD+ but had no detectable effect on NADPH/NADP+ or NQO1 activity. Epiandrosterone decreased NQO1 activity by 67%, and although epiandrosterone alone did not alter the NADPH/NADP+ or NADH/NAD+ ratio, when the NQO1 electron acceptor duroquinone was also present, NADPH/NADP+ decreased by 84% with no impact on NADH/NAD+. Duroquinone alone also decreased NADPH/NADP+ but not NADH/NAD+. The results suggest that NQO1 activity is more tightly coupled to the redox status of the NADPH/NADP+ than NADH/NAD+ redox pair, and that NADPH is the endogenous NQO1 electron donor. Parallel studies of pulmonary endothelial transplasma membrane electron transport (TPMET), another redox process that draws reducing equivalents from the cytosol, confirmed previous observations of a correlation with the NADH/NAD+ ratio.