Regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 expression by small GTPase Rac2 in bone marrow macrophages

Anser C. Azim, Hongmei Cao, Xiaopei Gao, Myungsoo Joo, Asrar B. Malik, Richard B. Van Breemen, Ruxana T. Sadikot, Gye Young Park, John W. Christman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is induced by microbial products, proinflammatory cytokines, growth factors, and oncogenes. The Rho family includes RhoA, Rac1, Rac2, Rac3, and Cdc42 and is involved in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton organization, cell growth, vesicular cell trafficking, and transcriptional regulation. Rac2 binds to NADPH oxidase protein complex, and Rac2 null neutrophils are known to have poor phagocytic activity. We examined whether Rac2, the predominant small GTPase in hematopoietic cells, influences COX-2 expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM). We showed that BMDM from Rac2-/- null mice have reduced COX-2 expression in response to treatment with endotoxin. Despite a compensatory increase in Rac1, BMDM from Rac2-/- null mice have less biologically active GTP-bound Rac in response to LPS stimulation. Signaling molecules (downstream of Rac2 and Toll-like receptor 4) such as p42/44, p38, and pAKT were also affected in BMDM from Rac2-/- null mouse macrophages. We also observed that BMDM from Rac2-/- null failed to degrade IκBα significantly and had less immunoreactive PU.1. We show that both NF-κB pathway and PU.1 are involved in normal macrophage function and play a role in macrophage COX-2 expression. In summary, these data indicate that Rac2 regulates COX-2 expression in BMDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L668-L673
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cdc42
  • Rac1
  • Small guanosine triphosphatases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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